Radioactive tritium-contaminated water has leaked into groundwater at the Indian Point Nuclear facility near New York City, state officials say, but the contamination is said to have been limited to the facility.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that radioactive tritium-contaminated water had leaked into groundwater at the facility, which is about 37 miles north of New York City. “The company reported alarming levels of radioactivity at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent,” he said.
The governor added that the contaminated water did not migrate off site and, as such, there is no immediate threat to public health, but an investigation has been launched to determine the potential impact.
“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,” Cuomo said.
Other details were not immediately available, but the incident comes just two months after a power loss to several control rods forced the facility’s Unit 2 reactor to be shut down. That incident did not result in the release of radioactivity.
Indian Point Energy Center has a generating capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts and provides enough power to light about 2 million homes, thousands of businesses and hundreds of critical transportation, health and municipal systems. The power is distributed to the Con Edison system, which serves more than 3 million customers in the five boroughs of New York City and Westchester County.
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