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Indian Point Nuclear Plant

    

Another danger that is unavoidable when working with nuclear power plants is the potential for contamination of the surrounding environment by waste produced during the nuclear power process.  At Indian Point Nuclear Plant, located just 24 miles from New York City, a leak from a spent fuel pool area at the Indian Point Unit 2 power plant was discovered.  The leak was discovered in early September of 2005 and an investigation into the leak began September 20 of the same year.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission determined that there was no immediate danger posed for humans but there were substantial amounts of several radioactive materials in the ground water and soil.  Tritium and nickel levels have not yet reached levels beyond what the Environmental Protection Agency deems safe but measurements continue to increase despite attempts by Entergy, the operators of the plant, to find and fix the leak.  In addition to tritium and nickel contamination, strontium has been measured at alarming levels.  Measurements taken from a monitoring well maintained by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found strontium levels more than three times the acceptable levels as established by EPA regulations.  While the NRC and Entergy claim that the water has remained on site and not yet reached drinking water sources, the contaminated water has been found in wells within fifty yards of the Hudson River.[1]

            The Indian Point nuclear reactors are only 24 miles from New York City so it is quite understandable that leaks of contaminated materials would cause an outcry.  Contaminated water poses a severe threat to any concentration of people especially when that concentration is as large and dense as New York City.  Additionally the presence of such a leak serves to emphasize how dangerous and unsafe nuclear power plants truly are.  To acknowledge that a leak exists is to acknowledge that the potential for even greater hazards exists, just waiting for the correct circumstance to occur.

External Links:
Leak at Indian Point
NRC Realease on Indian Point
RiverKeeper
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
Close Indian Point

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[1] “Leak Investigation.”  Accessed April 3, 2006 at http://www.ipsecinfo.org/Leak_Sept_2005.htm

[2] Image borrowed from http://www.grist.org/news/powers /2003/04/03/fallingout/


Indian Point
Indian Point Nuclear Plant [2]



Last updated:  5/2/2006


 



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