America’s Little Fukushima: Nuclear Plant Leaking ‘Uncontrollable’ Amounts of Radioactive Waste Into Drinking Water of 23 Million New Yorkers
An investigation recently called upon by New York governor Andrew Cuomo after the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant reported nuclear material leaking into the areas groundwater reveals a staggering 80% increase in contamination over previous samples. Reported as a “disaster waiting to happen”experts suggest the immediate deactivation of the facility located just 25 miles north of New York City to halt the further contamination of 23 million people’s water.
The plant which is owned and operated by Entergy has experienced and reported leaks in the past but one iron worker who worked at the facility is unsurprised citing: “I was kind of shocked at how decrepit the facility seemed.” upon receiving work there. More troubling though is that the official numbers reported of the most recent samples may not be nearly as accurate as samples from other locations which reported results as much as “65,000 percent times” the readings taken before the Cuomo’s investigation.
While Paul Gallay, president of watchdog group Riverkeeper, suggested the immediate close of the facility Entergy officials suggest that the tritium leaking into the ground water poses no significant health risk and confusingly cite that"the effected groundwater is on their property" as evidence and that ultimately the contamination problem is more regulatory than it is a concern for the environment.
In the past year the problems plaguing the facility are not limited to radioactive leakage but also power outtages, fires and safety alarm malfunctions that further threaten the workers at the facility and local residents. “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 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause, and potential impacts to the environment and public health,” Governor Cuomo said in an official statement.
“For over 40 years, Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear facilities have been damaging the coastal resources of the Hudson River estuary…New York is home to four commercial nuclear facilities. When properly located and safely functioning, these facilities are regarded as important generators of electricity… However, by virtue of its location as well as its operations, the Department cannot make the same finding as to Indian Point,” Secretary of State Cesar Perales said.
Unfortunately though the fate of the facility is uncertain as the decision to close Indian Point Nuclear Plant in the interest of workplace safety and the cessation of radioactive groundwater contamination affecting 23 million people does not, for whatever reason, seem like an obvious one to the state of New York or U.S. federal regulatory agencies.