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Entergy’s failure to fix issues with Indian Point is behind Hudson River oil spill

For Immediate Release

July 1, 2015

Contact: Cliff Weathers, Communications Director
914-478-4501, Ext 239

Ongoing mishaps at the nuclear power plant are unacceptable and it’s time for regulators to take action.

OSSINING, N.Y. – Yesterday, Entergy revealed that an insulation failure caused a short circuit in a high-voltage transformer coil at the Indian Point nuclear power plant on May 9, 2015. This failure caused the transformer to catch fire. Subsequently, more than 3,000 gallons of transformer oil spilled into and polluted the Hudson River. Indian Point is claiming that its actions since the spill reinforce its “commitment to environmental responsibility and transparency, as well as the safe, secure and reliable operation of Indian Point.”

But there’s much more to the story that Indian Point isn’t saying.

“Entergy has not been forthright with the public despite the claims it made yesterday,” says Christopher Len, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director. “This is the third transformer accident in eight years. Entergy fails to fix its mistakes and so the river suffers again and again.”

“Entergy could correct the problems that cause these spills, but has chosen not to. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ordered Entergy to make critical improvements after previous transformer accidents, but Entergy failed to construct and properly maintain a moat system to contain them,” says Len. “We’re calling on the DEC to ensure that Entergy complies with previous orders to protect the public and the Hudson River, and DEC owes it to New Yorkers to ensure that Entergy pays for the damage it caused.”

Riverkeeper demands that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission not write Entergy a blank check when it comes to Indian Point.

“This fire and spill should cause NRC to seriously rethink the safety exemptions granted to Indian Point and Entergy’s petition to re-license the plant,” says Len. “The Indian Point 3 reactor has only 24 minutes of fire safety insulation instead of the three-hour fire barrier that the NRC requires of other nuclear plants. The plant should not be operated under its current fire safety regime, given how close it is to New York City and nearly 20 million people.”


Riverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.

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