(AP) WHITE PLAINS Officials say the water in a new well near the spent-fuel pool at the Indian Point 2 nuclear power plant is contaminated with radioactive tritium at a level 30 times higher than the federal standard for drinking water.

The well was drilled by Entergy Nuclear Northeast, owner of the plant in Buchanan, as part of an attempt to find the source of a small leak from the 40-foot-deep pool, which holds the highly radioactive fuel assemblies that have been used in the nuclear reactor.

The leak was discovered in August when moisture was spotted on the outside wall of the pool, beneath ground level, during an adjacent excavation.

Large amounts of tritium can damage internal organs. Critics have expressed fears that it could eventually work its way into drinking water supplies or into the nearby Hudson River.

The wells are dug only for sampling the ground water and are not drinking water sources.

Entergy plans to dig eight more wells to try to map the underground flow of contaminated water as well as to find the leak.”

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