Entergy: No threat following Indian Point leak

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer are calling for an investigation into the cause of a radioactive leak into the groundwater at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan.

Officials say "alarming" levels of radioactivity were reported at three of the 40 monitoring wells at the plant in the past week, with one spiking by nearly 65,000 percent.

Cuomo said that tritium-contaminated water has leaked into the groundwater. Tritium is dangerous if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. News 12 has been told that the contamination has been contained to the site.

"There is no threat or consequence to public health or safety from what we identified," said Entergy spokeswoman Patricia Kakridas. "The elevated levels that we identified, none of that has reached any type of drinking-water source on site or off site."

Kakridas said Entergy, which operates Indian Point, will continue to monitor the levels and maintain safety precautions.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the leak was due to a water pump failure. Schumer is calling on the NRC to determine the extent of the contamination and figure out why the pump wasn't working properly. An NRC spokesman said the leak poses no threat to the Hudson River, since the radioactive water would be diluted to the point that it is "undetectable."

Cuomo, who has been pushing for years to close the plant, wants health and environment commissioners to investigate the incident as well. In a statement released Saturday, he wrote in part that Indian Point's "latest failure" demonstrates that the plant "cannot continue to operate in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment."

Entergy said Sunday that the releases "are more than 1,000 times below federal permissible limits."

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