News > News > Ignoring public outcry, Holtec plans early radioactive release into Hudson that coincides with recreation and spawning seasons

Ignoring public outcry, Holtec plans early radioactive release into Hudson that coincides with recreation and spawning seasons

Holtec adds insult to injury with early discharge plan

Holtec, the firm responsible for decommissioning the Indian Point nuclear power plant, has informed the Indian Point Energy Center Decommissioning Oversight Board that it intends to begin releasing radioactive wastewater from the plant into the Hudson River in May, at the start of the recreation season. This is three months earlier than the timetable described by Holtec during a meeting February 2 with the oversight board. As public outrage increases over the planned discharges of radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River, this may be an attempt to get around the new restrictions that could be imposed by a bill pending in the New York Legislature. Riverkeeper, partner organizations and hundreds of thousands of community members have stated their opposition to the radioactive wastewater discharges.

Riverkeeper strongly recommends that the tritiated water be stored on site for at least a 12 year period, equal to the half-life of tritium. In addition to lessening the radioactivity of tritium by 50 percent, our hope is that safer alternatives will become available during this time.

Discharging the wastewater in May will occur just as thousands of New Yorkers are gearing up to swim, fish, paddle and boat in the Hudson, and it could expose the population of striped bass and herring as it will coincide with the spawning of these and other fish in the vicinity of the plant.

It appears that Holtec is accelerating its timeframes as opposition grows and legislation introduced by Senator Pete Harckham and Assemblymember Dana Levenberg to stop the discharges picks up momentum and the number of co-sponsors increases. It is now essential that this bill is passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Hochul immediately.

“This is an affront to the people who love the Hudson but fear for their health and the damage tritium discharges can bring to the river and to their communities,” said Tracy Brown, President of Riverkeeper. “We were hoping to work in good faith with Holtec to find an appropriate solution for disposal of the tritiated water, but it seems their hurry to make profit takes precedence over the people and health of the river.”


In a letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission April 6, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand “write to express our significant concerns regarding Holtec Decommissioning International’s (Holtec) decision to expedite its planned release of over one million gallons of radioactive wastewater from the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) into the Hudson River.” Read the letter.

Earlier: The public objects to Holtec’s release of radioactive wastewater from Indian Point into the Hudson River; Riverkeeper joins call for storing tritium-contaminated water in tanks on site while seeking a safe disposal method

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