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Plan for radioactive waste challenged 



Environmental advocates are keeping a wary eye on plans by the Indian Point nuclear power plant to resume dumping of radioactive wastewater into the HudsonRiver.

GreeneandColumbiacounty residentsareinvitedtoafreewebinar about the plan by the firm in charge of decommissioning ofthecontroversialpowerplant.

Holtec has indicated they will begin the discharge of wastewater as early as August.

According to the 2021 research study by Hideke Matsumoto titled “Health Effects Triggered by Tritium,” laboratory miceexposedtotritiumhad shorter lives than control mice. Pregnant female mice exposed to tritium gave birth to mice with learning disabilities and smaller brains.

David Lochbaum, a member of the Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight Board, confirmed the study’s general conclusion that exposure to radioactive waste corresponds to higher cancer rates. But recent studies of the aquatic life and vegetation in areas surrounding Indian Point show that the wildlife had no accumulation of tritium.

“I’m kind of confused why Riverkeeper is fighting Holtec’s resumption of dumping,” he said. “They agreed to drop their safety claims and challenges in exchange for the plant shutting down. They signed the agreement.”

Riverkeeper, a nonprofit that has as its mission the protection of the Hudson River, will host the webinar.

Riverkeeper’s outreach to the community comes on the heels

company’s action.

Photo courtesy Indian Point

Holtec, the company in charge of decommissioning Indian Point power plant, plans to resume dumping nuclear waste into the Hudson River. Environmental advocates are challenging the 

of state Sen. Pete Harckham, D-Lewisboro, and Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg’s, DOssining, introduction of a bill to the state Senate.

The measure prohibits the release of radionuclides into state waters. Fines for breaking the law would be $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for the second offenseand$150,000forthe third offense.

“The Hudson River serves as a drinking water source for over 100,000 New Yorkers,” according to the bill. “The potential release of radioactive contaminants to our state’s most influential river is an urgent matter to the residents of Peekskill and all other communities along the tidal estuary. Exposure to toxic substances and radioactive material poses not only a possible health risk, but also a serious economic risk to our communities with potential negative impacts on real estate values.

The bottom line is that the federal government is basically the regulator of radioactive material, Levenberg said.

“As a result, the state does not have power [in radioactive waste regulation]” said Levenberg. “Our bill would take back ourpoweronthewaterways.”

Riverkeeper President Tracy Brown said the organization hastostopHoltecbecausethere have not been enough studies to determine the short- and long-term effects of tritium, the radioactive isotope present in nuclear waste.

“The federal government’s standards for acceptable exposure to radioactive materials dates back to the Manhattan Project in the 1940s,” Brown said.“Thatstudywasperformed on white men. We don’t have data on tritium’s effect on children or childbearing women. If we don’t know if [tritium] is a danger to these people, then we shouldn’tbedumping.”

Brown said there are four public swimming spots on the river, as well as one private beach.

“People swim, paddleboard and kayak on the Hudson,” she said. “For the dumping to resume at the height of the recreational season is irresponsible and disrespectful.”

To register for the webinar go to https://us06web.