Radioactive Leak at Indian Point Nuclear Plant: Is It a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

By: | March 11th, 2016

Image courtesy Wikipedia

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently called for Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant to be shut down after officials reported of a leak of radioactive material known as tritium flowing into the groundwater.

Officials reported that the amount of tritium leaking from the Indian Point nuclear power plant is growing. New samples taken from local groundwater monitoring wells show 80% higher concentrations of this radioactive material in comparison to the previous samples.

This power plant generates about 25% of the electricity for Westchester and New York City. The plant is located on the east bank of the Hudson River, 25 miles north of New York City and is a serious threat to the whole region. Paul Gallay, president of watchdog group Riverkeeper, said, “It’s a disaster waiting to happen and it should be shut down.”

New York Daily News reported, “Officials believe the leak occurred after a drain overflowed during a maintenance exercise while workers were transferring water containing high levels of radioactive contamination.” Entergy, the company that runs the plant, claimed there is no threat to public health, as the contaminated groundwater did not leave the site.

As per John J. Kelly, a certified health physicist and former director of licensing for Indian Point, tritium is a radioactive form of hydrogen that is found naturally. Kelly said, “It’s more of a regulatory problem than an environmental problem.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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