Impact of Radioactive Leaks at Indian Point to be Examined at Roundtable and Town Meeting Tomorrow

Elected leaders, public officials and nationally-renowned scientists will gather on Friday, March 2 at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus to examine the implications of ongoing radioactive leaks at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

The following press release is from the Pace Academy for the Environment in conjunction with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
(IPSEC):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Stephen Kent: 845-758-0097, cell 914-589-5988, skent@kentcom.com
Steve Densmore: 845-234-8713, stevied423@hotmail.com
Scott Cullen: 631-428-0034, scullen@gracelinks.org
Manna Jo Greene: 845-454-7673 x 113; cell 845-807-1270, mannajo@clearwater.org
Cara Halstead Cea: 914-773-3312, cell: 914-906-9680, chalstead@pace.edu

Impact of Radioactive Leaks at Indian Point to be Examined

Roundtable, Town Meeting Set for Friday, March 2 at Pace University

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, March 1, 2007 — Elected leaders, public officials and nationally-renowned scientists will gather on Friday, March 2 at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus to examine the implications of ongoing radioactive leaks at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

Sponsored by Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc, Pace Academy for the Environment and the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC), the technical briefing and a later town meeting are free and open to the public, which is encouraged to attend to learn more about the radioactive leaks and their potential impacts upon groundwater, the Hudson River, and public health.

Federal, state and local officials from all levels of government are expected to participate, including members of New York’s Congressional delegation, representatives from 11 lower Hudson Valley counties, relevant state agencies, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and local municipal leaders. This month members of the New York Congressional Delegation reintroduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that, if passed, would require an Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, including in-depth review of Indian Point’s safety and mechanical systems, spent fuel pools, and radiological emergency evacuation plans. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York) recently proposed similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Representative John Hall (D-Dover), a co-sponsor of the House bill calling for an independent safety assessment at Indian Point, is expected to participate in the March 2 roundtable discussion. “Indian Point is the nation’s most problematic power plant in the nation’s most densely populated corridor,” said Hall, in a Feb. 16 article appearing in the Westport News. “With 8 percent of the population of the United States within a 50-mile radius of the plant, our bill forces the NRC to give this plant the special attention it requires. This bill will force Entergy to do what it takes to run Indian Point safely or they won’t be able to run it at all.”

Experts in hydrology, geology, public health, ecology and regulatory issues will explain the most current information available concerning Strontium 90 and other radioactive isotopes discovered leaking from the aging nuclear power plant located in Buchanan, New York and operated by the Entergy Corporation. What was initially described as a “slightly radioactive leak” amounting to “less than a pint a day,” when it was first discovered in September, 2005, has since grown to an “underground area [of] contaminated water that is 50 to 60 feet deep. There is also another area, or underground plume, that is about 30 feet wide by 350 feet long,” according to Don Mayer, director of special projects for Entergy, quoted in an Oct. 9, 2006 New York Daily News article. “One area is predominantly leaking tritium and the other Strontium-90,” Mayer said.

Questions arise about drinking water supplies, both for nearby groundwater supplies and for municipalities in the lower Hudson that take their drinking water from the Hudson River. “Tens of thousands of gallons of water are leaching out into the ground, most of it is going into the river. It’s a serious problem,” said Phillip Musegaas, a policy analyst with the Riverkeeper.

“Understandably, people are wondering what effect radioactive isotopes found in the groundwater under the plant may or may not have on their drinking water. Additionally, Clearwater wants to know what, if any, potential impacts the leaks may be having on fish and other aquatic species living in the River. That’s why we are bringing together elected officials with experts who can provide the best scientific information available for a well-rounded and informative discussion,” said Manna Jo Greene, environmental director at Clearwater, who will facilitate the roundtable discussion.

Mark Jacobs of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition stressed the need for the public, as well as elected officials, to attend in order to explore and understand the intricacies involved. “Come find out what can and should be done about the unceasing leaks coming from Indian Point. An unknown number of leaks, leaking for an unknown period of time, polluting unknown locations in unknown quantities is just too many unknowns,” said Jacobs.

The session will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Wilcox Gymnasium of Pace University’s Pleasantville campus with a technical briefing and roundtable discussion that is scheduled to last until 5 p.m. An evening roundtable panel and town meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for members of the public who may be unable to attend the earlier meeting. Although there is no cost to attend, advanced registration is strongly encouraged via e-mail: katy@clearwater.org or by calling: 845-454-7673 x116.

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TO RSVP, for further information or to request side interviews with presenters and panelists, call 845-758-0097.