Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Radiation level increase at Indian Point Nuclear Facility


“Today, Entergy reported that the level of radioactive tritium-contaminated water that leaked into groundwater at the Indian Point Nuclear facility last week has increased by 80 percent since the initial report. Last week the company reported alarming levels of radioactivity at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent.

“The trends of unexpected outages and environmental incidents like these are extremely disconcerting. On February 6, I directed the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health to investigate the cause of the radioactive leak. Operational problems at Indian Point have been under investigation by the Department of Public Service since my directive in December 2015.

“Today, I have further directed that the three agencies integrate their investigations to thoroughly explore whether the operational problems that are suspected to have caused the uptick in unexpected outages of the plant may also be causing the leak of radioactive water into the environment. Representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Public Service will be onsite as part of these investigations.”

The Governor’s letter directing CEO Zibelman, Acting Commissioner Seggos and Commissioner Zucker to coordinate their investigations can be viewed
here. The text of that letter is also available below:

Dear CEO Zibelman and Commissioners Zucker and Seggos:

Once again, we have received a troubling report from the Entergy Indian Point Energy Center (Indian Point) of increased levels of radioactivity in groundwater at the site. The levels of radioactivity reported last week are significantly higher than in past incidents, with one of the monitoring wells having increased nearly 65,000 percent from 12,300 picocuries per liter to over 8,000,000 picocuries per liter. Today, that same well is registering a radioactivity level of 14,800,000 picocuries per liter, an 80 percent increase since February 5.

Our first concern will always remain the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak does not pose a threat. Information provided through the Department of Public Service’s ongoing investigation into operational problems at the plant may prove useful in the investigation of the radioactive leak into the environment; similarly, findings from the environmental problems at the plant may prove useful to the DPS investigation. Therefore, I direct the investigative teams to immediately share all information obtained to date, and integrate the State’s ongoing investigations.

I understand your agencies are working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to investigate this serious matter and are scheduled to conduct an on-site investigation tomorrow, February 11th, 2015 to determine the cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health.

Please report back at your earliest convenience the findings of your investigation.


Andrew M. Cuomo