BUCHANAN, N.Y. – United States Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to investigate the leak of radioactive material into groundwater at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan.
Schumer called the levels of tritium in the water wells around Indian Point “disconcerting" and "should be a wake-up call that more must be done to prevent leaks like this in the first place. It is critical that proper safety measures are in place to prevent water contamination.
"That is why I am urging NRC to fully investigate all the wells surrounding Indian Point and determine why the pump was not working, how far the contamination spread, how to prevent future spills and more importantly determine if local residents’ health and safety are at risk,” Schumer said in a statement.
According to the NRC, Entergy informed NRC Inspectors that one of the groundwater wells had a high reading on tritium. Entergy told NRC that there was a pump at Indian Point that was not operational and caused water with tritium to go out into the water well. Once the tritium was detected, Indian Point stopped their operation, as required by NRC.
Schumer said he was told by NRC Chairman Stephen Burns that the leakage would not affect drinking water because it takes two months of migration before the water enters the Hudson River.
An Entergy investigation found that three of the several dozen monitoring wells at the facility were registering higher-than-normal levels of tritium, but that the public health was not at risk.
Entergy said that it had made a voluntary notice to the NRC, state agencies and key stakeholders about the leak.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the leak "unacceptable" in statements made S aturday and announced a full investigation under the direction of Department of Environmental Conservation acting Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.
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