Update On Groundwater Monitoring And Tritium at Indian Point
March 28, 2016
No harm to health or environment
Engineers believe that a leak from a temporary filtration system at the Indian Point nuclear power plant was limited to work performed in January, and they have begun hardening physical infrastructure and procedures to prevent a recurrence, Entergy Corp. announced today. As previously stated, drinking water and Hudson River aquatic life were not affected. Measurements of groundwater and river water verified there is no threat to human health or th environment.
Samples taken from groundwater monitoring wells around the plant since Entergy first detected the issue and reported it voluntarily to federal and state authorities in early February have shown generally declining levels of tritium – one of the weakest radioisotopes – in groundwater, with some expected exceptions as the material migrates underground. Even at their highest, levels never exceeded one-tenth of one percent of US Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits.
Experts are investigating the exact path to ground from a temporary water filtration system used exclusively during a two-week period in January.
Indian Point takes accountability for running a safe and secure operation seriously and acknowledges that it fell short of the high standards the community has come to expect from it. Company leadership has assembled a dedicated team of external and internal experts to help understand what happened and prevent a recurrence.
Acting on advice from the NRC, engineers extracted water at a monitoring well more sensitive to the January issue to lower the localized concentration of tritium – strengthening the detection capability. They are planning to advance to this summer the installation and activation of a groundwater extraction system that had originally been planned for late this year. In addition, the plant will replace the temporary filtration system that had been used in January with more permanent, hardened infrastructure and will conduct more frequent and thorough inspections and cleanings of piping, pumps and drains.
The company is keeping local governments, members of Congress, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders informed through a regular series of conference calls with technical experts.