Hi Manna Jo,

In response to your email, please note the following:

  • The presentation slides from the March 19th DOB meeting pertaining to the release of processed waste from IPEC is attached. Based on additional information there have been some changes made.
  • As you can see below, your questions (and the associated answers) are broken out based on the text of your email.  In addition, I have included the link to the NRC website where you can obtain a full copy of the Indian Point Energy Center 2021 Annual Radioactive Effluent Release Report. The tables referenced in some of the responses are from the report specifically.
  • The second attachment is your original email

With that said, note the following question from your email and our response: 

1.     Which Isotopes are able to be filtered out of the water before it is released into the Hudson River and which are not.   

  • All radioisotopes can be filtered with the exception of tritium which is consistent with  Nuclear practices across the country. 

2.     For those that are able to be filtered, how effective is treatment?  

  • Plant waste processing systems are routinely maintained by operations and chemistry personnel to ensure that the efficiency of the removal filtration systems is optimized. This ensures that the actual dose compared to off-site regulatory limits remains well below guidelines.  
  • Consistent / repetitive sampling of the effluent combined with changing the filtration media  ensures the effluent concentrations are maintained low. 

3.     How much of each isotope is able to be filtered out of the water before it is discharged?   

  • Filtration removal efficiencies range generally between 90% to over 99.5% of the isotopes being removed.  
  • The way we assess the efficiency of the removal process is evaluation of the releases vs the limits to ensure we remain a small fraction (<1%) of what the NRC requires. 

4.     It is important to know that they meet NRC standards, but people are asking for real numbers. 

  • The way the nuclear power industry is required to manage the amount of radioactivity that can be released is to ensure that we remain well below the effluent release limits in the NRC regulations. The limits are presented in terms of dose (e.g. units of mrem). 
  • To explore “real numbers” one can refer to the Effluent Release Report. The report provides numbers that describe the amounts and isotopes released both in terms of activity amount in curries (e.g. Ci) and dose (mRem). 

    To aid in reviewing the data in the report: 
  • Table 6-1 Summation of Dose Assessments indicates that the total dose associated with liquid releases (i.e. after filtration) is less than 1% of the annual NRC limit of 3 mrem. Note, this includes tritium which is not affected by filtration as previously noted
    In 2021 for example, the dose reported in Table 6-1 for liquid releases to the Hudson is 0.014 mrem which is less than 1% of the 3 mRem limit
  • Tables 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 provide the names of the isotopes measured and reported as well as the amount of each isotope released. The sum of all the radionuclides released as listed in these tables results in the doses reported in Table 6-1.

5.     The link to the Annual Radioactive Effluent Release Report at NRC.gov is: Indian Point Energy Center – Resubmittal of the 2021 Annual Radioactive Effluent Release Report (nrc.gov) 

If additional information, or interpretation of the report is needed for clarity, I would like to have a meeting , preferably face to face, to accommodate discussion. Let me know if this is needed.

Richard J. Burroni
Site Vice President – Indian Point
Holtec Decommissioning International
450 Broadway, Buchanan, NY 10511
Phone: +1 914 254 6705