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Citizen opposition blocks discharge of radioactive water from Indian Point nuke into Hudson River, for now

Radioactive waste water won’t go into Hudson River…yet

Tritium dump paused — Beyond Nuclear International

Note: Beyond Nuclear is holding online teach-ins on tritium. The first — Tritium: Don’t Dump It! Tritium in the US Nuclear Power Sector — will take place on Tuesday, May 16, 2pm-3:30pm EDT and features: Dr. Ian Fairlie providing an overview of tritium and the harm it causes; Mary Lampert of Pilgrim Watch describing opposition to tritium dumping by Holtec into Cape Cod Bay from the closed Pilgrim, MA nuclear power plant; and lawyer, Michel Lee of the Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy, who will discuss the similar threat of tritium dumping by Holtec from the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York into the Hudson River. Register here.

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams, 30 Apr 23

Clean water and public health advocates in New York’s Hudson Valley applauded on April 13 as the energy technology company Holtec International announced it will not move ahead with plans to dump wastewater in May from the former Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, following intense pressure from local communities and state lawmakers.

The company had initially planned to complete its first discharge of wastewater from pools that were used to cool spent nuclear reactor fuel rods late this summer, but recently announced that in May it would discharge 45,000 gallons of the water into the Hudson River, which at least 100,000 people rely on for their drinking water.

The company ultimately plans to release one million gallons of wastewater into the river.

Holtec International said it was taking a “voluntary pause” in the plan to better explain the process of decommissioning the plant, which was shut down in 2021, to the local community and elected officials.

Local clean water group Riverkeeper expressed appreciation that Holtec “heard the concerns of public” and said advocates will continue pushing for an alternative to releasing the wastewater into the Hudson.

Riverkeeper and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) are among the groups that have raised concerns about the presence in the wastewater of the isotope tritium, which can be carcinogenic and is harmful to pregnant women and developing fetuses. Advocates have called on Holtec to store the water in tanks on the Indian Point site until a safe alternative disposal method can be found.

“There has been no prior disclosure of what pollutants or radioactive contaminants are in the wastewater or any public education on the environmental safety and public health risks associated with any potential discharges from the site,” said local public health experts in a statement in January as PSR held the first of several public forums about the risks associated with Holtec’s discharge plan. 

“My constituents are already overburdened with the negative environmental externalities left behind by industrial infrastructure, and we should not be treated like pawns in this process,” said Levenberg earlier this month. “What we need is a partner who will work with us to facilitate a safe and just decommissioning of this plant, in a way that respects the surrounding communities. The people of my district have made it clear that this conversation should not be one-sided; Holtec should not be the only participant driving the schedule. What is efficient for Holtec may not be what is in the best interest of our communities and our natural resources.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who joined Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in writing to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about Holtec’s plan on April 6, said he was “relieved that Holtec has heeded our call and will put a stop to its hastily hatched plan to dump radioactive wastewater into the Hudson.”……


April 30, 2023 - Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA

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