A Nuclear Regulatory Commission report last week that said radioactive
water leaks have not affected public health drew fire from
environmentalists who maintained it was too early to tell whether leaks
from Indian Point and other nuclear reactors posed health hazards.

Riverkeeper policy analyst Phillip Musegaas called the NRC’s findings
premature because, he said, important facts remain unknown, including
how long the water leaks had been occurring at the New York plant.

The report found that “the potential exists for unplanned and
unmonitored releases of radioactive fluids to migrate offsite into the
public domain” under existing regulations, but that the tritium leaks
that have been previously discovered at nuclear plants post no threat to
public health (Greenwire, Oct. 5).

Tritium leaks measured on-site at the Braidwood plant in Illinois this
spring, and last year at the Indian Point plant, both significantly
exceeded EPA’s standards of 20,000 picocuries per liter (Greenwire, Aug.

Buchanan, N.Y., Mayor Dan O’Neill said that Entergy properly addressed
the Indian Point leaks and called the site the “safest power plant in
the Hudson Valley.”

Musegaas objected to industry self-regulation. “Our other concern about
the report is that once again, the NRC is relying on the voluntary
actions by the industry to solve these problems,” Musegaas said. “The
NRC is not looking at passing new regulations that would address the
problems at these plants that lead to leaks” (Sean Gorman, White Plains
[N.Y.] Journal News, Oct. 8).

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