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Riverkeeper Commends New York State for $1 Million Fine against Indian Point

Contact: Tina Posterli, 516-526-9371, [email protected]

Nuclear Plant Fire and Oil Spill Led to DEC Enforcement
Ossining, NY – March 26, 2012 – Riverkeeper strongly supports the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for taking action against Entergy Corporation, the owner of Indian Point 3, and issuing a $1.2 million penalty for Clean Water Act violations stemming from a 2010 explosion and fire at the Indian Point nuclear facility. The transformer explosion caused an emergency shutdown of the IP3 reactor and an oil spill into the Hudson River.

Riverkeeper learned of the oil spill through its investigation of the cause of the transformer explosion on November 7, 2010. Prior to learning of the oil spill, Riverkeeper formally called for an independent investigation to determine the cause of the transformer incident and to review the adequacy of Entergy’s maintenance procedures. The facts show that Entergy was aware of problems with the transformer part that failed, but did nothing to address it.

Though it was not disclosed to the public, Entergy called in a report several hours after the transformer fire to the DEC notifying the state that oil from the transformer had been released as a result of the event. By the next day, involved officials had ascertained that the “entire contents” of the 20,000 gallon capacity transformer had “been lost,” with oil flowing into the site’s storm drain system and discharge canal, and to the Hudson River. Entergy publicly downplayed the significance of the fire and spill, stating in a status report on December 3, 2010 that “Contractors were on-site within hours after the [transformer] failure-to ensure there would be no environmental impact. Thanks to their efforts only a small fraction of the oil reached the river, and the effects of that oil was mitigated.”

DEC has reported that more than 10,000 gallons of oil were recovered from the transformer, the containment moat and areas outside the containment moat including the discharge canal, the Hudson River shoreline and the Hudson River.

“We applaud DEC for enforcing the Clean Water Act and holding Entergy accountable for its latest assault on the Hudson River,” said Phillip Musegaas, Hudson River Program Director at Riverkeeper. “The facts show that the fire and oil spill could have been prevented, had the NRC done its job of safely regulating Entergy, and preventing this corporate bad actor from putting profits ahead of safety and the environment. The NRC should be held similarly accountable for its failure to address evacuation planning and nuclear waste risks at Indian Point.”

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