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Nuclear Event/Environmental Hazard: – Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant , NY

2016/02/09

Nuclear Event/Environmental Hazard:– Radioactive Pollution
North America – USA | State of New York,  Buchanan, Indian Point Nuclear Generating Station
Location: 41°16’11.0″N 73°57’08.0″W  
Present Operational Age: ~41 years
Event: Radioactive tritium-contaminated water leak

Nuclear Event in USA on Wednesday, 10 February, 2016 at 09:16 [EST]

OFFSITE NOTIFICATION VIA NEWS RELEASE CONCERNING TRITIUM LEVELS IN GROUNDWATER MONITORING WELLS

“This report is being made pursuant to 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(xi) for any event or situation related to the health and safety of the public or on-site personnel, or protection of the environment, for which a news release is planned or notification to other government agencies has been or will be made. On February 10, 2016 at approximately 0916 EST, Entergy provided a news release of updated findings from follow-up groundwater tests at Indian Point that confirm anticipated fluctuations in tritium levels. The most recent samples from on-site groundwater monitoring wells show elevated levels of tritium. The levels of tritium identified including the new readings pose no threat to public health and safety. The tritium levels remain less than one-tenth of one percent of Federal reporting guidelines. Entergy continues to provide voluntary notifications to state agencies and stakeholders. Sampling will continue to be taken regularly from the monitoring wells in accordance with plant procedures.”

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

Source: NRC Event Number: 51724


65,000% Spike In Reported Radioactivity After Tritium Leaks At Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

Excerpt:

Two years after being fined for falsifying safety records, nine months after a transformer exploded at the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor just 37 miles from midtown Manhattan, and two months after Entergy – the plant’s operator – shut down the Unit 2 reactor after a major power outage cut power to several control rods (when the company assured that no radioactivity was released into the environment), this afternoon NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said he learned that “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” had leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.

Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe into the Indian Point NPP after he said Entergy, the plant’s owner, reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent.

It is unclear if the facility was taking a page out of the Fukushima “crisis response” book, or was being honest when it said that the contamination has not migrated off site “and as such does not pose an immediate threat to public health.” For the sake of millions of downriver New Yorkers, we hope it was the latter.

From Cuomo’s statement:

“Yesterday I learned that radioactive tritium-contaminated water leaked into the groundwater at the Indian Point Nuclear facility.  The company reported alarming levels of radioactivity at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent. The facility reports that the contamination has not migrated off site and as such does not pose an immediate threat to public health.

“Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak ‎does not pose a threat.

“This latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable and I have directed Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to fully investigate this incident and employ all available measures, including working with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health.”

The Governor’s letter directing Acting Commissioner Seggos and Commissioner Zucker to their begin investigation can be viewed here. The text of that letter is also available below:

Despite Indian Point’s denial that the contamination has migrated off site, Cuomo said that the incident requires a full investigation.

There was no immediate comment from Indian Point on the situation, Lohud reported.

The plant, located in Buchanan, NY which supplies about 30 percent of the energy to New York City, has been under increased scrutiny from Cuomo’s office, and the Democratic governor supports closing the plant, even as he supports keeping open two other upstate nuclear facilities.

In December, Cuomo ordered an investigation into Indian Point after a series of unplanned shutdowns, citing its risks being just outside the city and in the populated suburbs.

Cuomo said the “latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable” adding that the DEC and health department should “employ all available measures, including working with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health.”

In other words, nothing will change.

Which is probably why such failure escalations, which lead to a lot of verbal jawboning and shuffling of papers and nothing else, will continue until one day the failure leads to tragic consequences and everyone will say how nobody could have possibly seen this coming.

* * *

Cuomo’s full letter directing Acting Commissioner Seggos and Commissioner Zucker to their begin investigation can be viewed here. The text of that letter is also available below:

 Dear Commissioners Zucker and Seggos:

I am deeply concerned to have learned that radioactive tritium-contaminated water has recently leaked from operations at the Entergy Indian Point Energy Center (Indian Point) into groundwater at the site.  This is not the first such release of radioactive water at Indian Point, nor is this the first time that Indian Point has experienced significant failure in its operation and maintenance. This failure continues to demonstrate that Indian Point cannot continue to operate in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment.

The levels of radioactivity reported this week are significantly higher than in past incidents.  Three of forty monitoring wells registered alarming increases.  In fact, one of the monitoring well increased nearly 65,000 percent from 12,300 picocuries per liter to over 8,000,000 picocuries per liter.

Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak does not pose a threat. As such, I am directing you to fully investigate this incident and employ all available measures, including working with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, its causes, its potential impacts to the environment and public health, and how the release can be contained.  We need to identify whether this incident could have been avoided by exercising reasonable care.  We also need to know how a recurrence of this episode can be avoided by specific steps that Entergy should be taking.

Please report back at the completion of the investigation.

Sincerely,

ANDREW M. CUOMO

[Byline Tyler Durden] via Zero Hedge,


Previous Events

Nuclear Event in USA  on Saturday 05 December, 2015 at 17:31 [EST]

MANUAL REACTOR TRIP INITIATED DUE TO MULTIPLE DROPPED CONTROL RODS

Nuclear Event in USA  on Wednesday 08 July, 2015 at 14:25 [EDT]

MANUAL REACTOR TRIP DUE TO LOWERING STEAM GENERATOR WATER LEVELS

Nuclear Event in USA  on Saturday 09 May, 2015 at 17:50 [EDT].

UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO MAIN TRANSFORMER FIRE

Nuclear Event in USA on Thursday, 07 May, 2015 at 7:00 [EDT].

OFFSITE NOTIFICATION DUE TO SHUTDOWN FOR AN UNISOLABLE STEAM LEAK

Nuclear Event in USA  on Monday 06 May, 2015 at 19:20 [EDT]

REACTOR TRIP DUE TO TURBINE TRIP

Nuclear Event in USA on Thursday, 14 August, 2014 at 03:26 UTC

AUTOMATIC REACTOR TRIP

Nuclear Event in  USA on Tuesday, 10 June, 2014 at 03:45 UTC

Federal investigators are searching for the cause of a spike in radioactive material in the groundwater beneath the Indian Point Power Plant. The radioactive isotope tritium was first confirmed in groundwater under the power plant a decade ago. Since then, monitoring wells have shown a steady decline in the levels of contamination until April, when samples from two wells near Indian Point Unit Two saw a sudden spike. The spike was detected after the reactor for Unit Two was shut down for refueling. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials tell News 12 that the prime suspect is a canal that is flooded to move used fuel from the reactor to a water-filled pool, where it cools off. A previous leak was blamed on a faulty weld in the metal lining of that canal. Even though the levels of tritium under the plant went up earlier this year, both the NRC and Entergy contend there’s no immediate threat to the public. They say that levels have dropped significantly since the spike was found, but the NRC wants to make sure the problem is quickly fixed. Critics say that the fact there may be a leak in an area where there was previously a leak shows that Indian Point is aging and systems are failing. They also add that if the material is getting into the Hudson River, it may then become too diluted to detect. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is currently considering Entergy’s application for a 20-year renewal of its licenses for both Indian Point Units Two and Three.

———————————-

See Also

Indian Point – We Are Flirting With Catastrophe (Video)

Indian Point’s Tritium Problem and the N.R.C.’s Regulatory Problem

…The Indian Point nuclear power plant has a long history of accidental radioactive leaks and spills: spent fuel pools at the plant housing toxic nuclear waste have been leaking since the 1990s; corroded buried pipes have sprung radioactive leaks; tanks have spilled hundreds of gallons radioactively contaminated water; and malfunctioning valves and pumps have leaked radionuclide-laden water… —RiverKeeper

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.—Voltaire

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