Radioactive waste has been released into the Hudson River for as long as Indian Point has existed. It
was accepted as part of regular and routine operation of the plant. The effects of these releases were
not considered from a medical perspective. It was only necessary that they be “below regulatory
concern” according to standards set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the 70’s.
The plant is no longer operating. We now understand more about the adverse effects of tritium on
human health and our ecosystems. We need a different plan. What was done in the past is no longer
● Holtec has stated it plans to discharge a million gallons of radioactive water from the highly
radioactive fuel pools at Indian Point into the Hudson River as early as August this year, or
● The tritium at Indian Point is concentrated in the water of the fuel pools where the highly
radioactive used fuel rods were stored. Tritium cannot be filtered out of water. If it is ingested
or inhaled it lodges in cells and affects the DNA. The estimates regarding “acceptable” or
ALARA (“As Low As Reasonably Achievable”) levels do not take into account the effect of
ingesting these radionuclides. According to Gordon Edwards, president, Canadian Coalition
for Nuclear Responsibility, “Each radioactive particle is like a tiny time bomb that will
eventually ‘explode.’ When an atom disintegrates it gives off projectiles that can damage living
cells, causing them to develop into cancers later.”
● In addition to tritium, the fuel pool water has been contaminated with other highly radioactive
elements from the fuel rods and broken pieces from the rods: isotopes with half-lives that vary
from 5.27 to 81 million years. The health hazards from exposure to long-lived radionuclides,
including through inhalation or ingestion, are both cumulative and severe, including an
increased risk for a variety of cancers as well as potential harm to pregnant women and their
developing fetuses. What exactly is in the mixture Holtec plans to dump? How will the high
level radioactive isotopes (other than tritium) be treated before releasing them into the River?
● While there are regulations and procedures governing this high level radioactive waste, the
public must be informed about how it will be treated and disposed of.
● The NRC regulations do not recognize the unique vulnerability of developing fetuses, children
and women. They do not take into account the seven communities that draw their water from
the Hudson, consuming it on a daily basis and also using it for cooking, bathing and
showering. Nor do they take into consideration fish and wildlife. Boaters, swimmers and the
children who play on the shore are also neglected. The ebb and flow of currents in the Hudson
River would increase the contamination of certain areas, probably those closer to shore.
● According to a 2005 report from the US National Academy of Sciences
(https://www.nirs.org/wp-content/uploads/radiation/radtech/nosafedose072005.pdf), there is no
safe dose of ionizing radiation. Even low doses of ionizing radiation are likely to pose some
risk of adverse health effects.
● While there are other ways of dealing with this radioactive waste, the least harmful, most
prudent way forward is storage onsite along with the high level radioactive fuel rods until the
tritium can decay or new scientific methods of removal are discovered.
Monitoring of air and water at Indian Point:
● During all phases of decommissioning, especially during deconstruction of buildings that
housed radioactive material, continuous real-time monitoring using state-of-the-art
technology,by an independent expert is needed, particularly the air in and around the
elementary school, as well as monitoring of the school’s drinking water supply. Surface wipe
testing and soil monitoring should also be conducted. This information should be made
publicly available online and easily accessible to everyone.
● Holtec’s violations of regulations must be publicly disclosed in a timely manner by a member
of the Decommissioning Oversight Board at the Board’s public meetings with opportunity for
public input. Holtec received a violation from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for
improper venting of radioactive demolition dust. Appropriate remediation must be enforced.
Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan:
● Some community representatives say, now that the plant is shut down, and the fuel rods are
being transported from the fuel pools, there is much less risk. This is untrue. The growing risks
continue to dramatically escalate from human error, increasing extreme weather and
earthquake events, and cyber security threats (hack of the Colonial Pipeline for ransom, for
● Currently there are contradictory instructions for emergencies resulting from the Indian Point
decommissioning operations (shelter in place, turn on communications for instructions), and
ruptures of the co-located large diameter, high pressure gas transmission pipelines at the site
(evacuate the area, don’t use cell phones because this could ignite gas and vapors).
● The communities surrounding Indian Point and the dangerous co-location of Enbridge’s
Algonquin gas transmission pipelines deserve an Emergency Preparedness Disaster
Response Plan for a CO-INCIDENT. We are an environmental justice community with a larger
at-risk population with specific and different communication needs.
● We need an Emergency Disaster Preparedness expert to initiate a plan with FEMA, federal,
state, and municipal agencies.
● Ask your municipality to pass the Resolution to stop Holtec from discharging radioactive
wastewater from the Indian Point site into the Hudson River.
● Speak to your local elected officials and ask them to contact state and federal officials to
prevent this dumping.
● Talk to your county representatives and ask the County to pass the Resolution.
● Write a letter to the editor of your local paper laying out the facts about radioactive
contaminants including tritium and asking that this radioactive material not be dumped into the