Statement from Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell in Response to News Regarding Trace Tritium Level at Indian Point

Statement from Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell in Response to News Regarding Trace Tritium Level at Indian Point

The recent news of a localized tritium level elevation found in groundwater monitoring wells at Indian Point has raised many questions concerning potential health impacts.

I have spoken with representatives for the plant operator, Entergy, and they’ve been happy to address in depth, each and every question I posed. They are cooperating with Federal and State agencies and are keeping local officials informed of developments.  There are over 3 dozen groundwater monitoring wells on the Indian Point site. Samples are routinely taken to monitor any for the presence and concentration of any contamination.  The recent elevated Tritium levels were discovered during this sampling and Entergy immediately went to work to identify the source. It has been determined that an underground pipe had leaked during the cleaning of a holding tank for the upcoming refueling of the Unit 2 reactor. A small amount of water from that leaking pipe made its way into the nearby monitoring well.   The trace of tritium was discovered during a routine sample from that monitoring well.  It was 1/1000th of the amount that the federal government requires to be reported.  Entergy informed the public of the level because they are conscientious, which is to their credit.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is closely monitoring Entergy’s management of this event and is working with them to assure that there remains no danger to drinking water sources or public health. The NRC has a 24/7 presence at Indian Point and it should be emphasized that they have termed the trace tritium level “insignificant”.

I appreciate Indian Point’s diligent response to this discovery and I also appreciate the honest, transparent and open manner in which they are dealing with it. My staff and I will continue to closely monitor the progress of this investigation and any clean up or remediation needed to contain the leak. Again, I fully support the continued operation of this crucial source of electricity for our county, region, and state.