Yes, the water in the fuel pool is tested periodically.  Results must go to the NRC and must be below what the NRC  calls below regulatory concern.  My understanding is that the results are released to the public annually – which in my opinion makes them worthless.

This goes back to the regs that we’re made in the 70’s and have nothing to do with what has subsequently been discovered by medical experts. It seems that a lot of people do not care about the rate of contamination and have moved to the position of no dumping in the Hudson River.  Sierra will have to be more circumspect but when I talk about this publicly I do not discourage this viewpoint.  Keep it on site, probably in tanks.  In 75 years it will all be decayed and will be harmless.  I think the forthcoming discussion will be keep it in the fuel pools or put it in tanks.  Not sure how much the public will need to be involved.  I see it as a Holtec problem.  We just need to be sure that there is a solid monitoring system in place.

As for the legality of Peter’s legislation – there is no clear answer.  Traditionally the NRC has had sole jurisdiction over anything radioactive.  However, the State has a powerful voice.  My crystal ball says that the AG needs to be involved for an injunction and subsequent court case.  There may be an AG rep on the DOB. I’m not sure.

What is below is from an exchange between Manna Jo Green of Clearwater and Rich Burroni, a Holtec manager.  The exchange grew out of questions asked at the DOB meeting last August.   I have no reason to doubt what Burroni is saying.  He is doing this work and it would not be to his advantage to lie about it.

His slides are posted on the DOB website.


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 is: Indian Point Energy Center – Resubmittal of the 2021 Annual Radioactive Effluent Release Report ( 

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