NEI: Indian Point tritium leak will have 'no impact on public safety'

Indian Point Energy Center
Indian Point Energy Center | Courtesy of Shutterstock

Anthony Pietrangelo, chief nuclear officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), issued a statement this week regarding tritium leakage from Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and plant officials are monitoring the plant after it was reported that the plant was leaking tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, into the ground around the plant.

Entergy Corp. officials have said there is no risk to public health at this time as a result of this incident. Pietrangelo said tritium occurs naturally in the atmosphere.

“It also is a byproduct of electricity production at nuclear power plants,” Pietrangelo said. “Tritium emits a weak form of radiation, a low-energy particle similar to an electron, and it cannot penetrate the skin.”

A Thursday New York Daily News article said Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a probe into operations at Indian Point following reports of groundwater samples showing concentrations of tritium that were 80 percent higher than first reported when the leak first was detected late last week.

“Entergy will continue to report its findings to the NRC and other stakeholders,” Pietrangelo said. "This is in accordance with the industry’s voluntary groundwater-protection program involving all nuclear power plant operators to improve the management of situations involving radiological releases to groundwater.”

Anthony Pietrangelo, chief nuclear officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), issued a statement this week regarding tritium leakage from Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and plant officials are monitoring the plant after it was reported that the plant was leaking tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, into the ground around the plant.

Entergy Corp. officials have said there is no risk to public health at this time as a result of this incident. Pietrangelo said tritium occurs naturally in the atmosphere.

“It also is a byproduct of electricity production at nuclear power plants,” Pietrangelo said. “Tritium emits a weak form of radiation, a low-energy particle similar to an electron, and it cannot penetrate the skin.”

A Thursday New York Daily News article said Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a probe into operations at Indian Point following reports of groundwater samples showing concentrations of tritium that were 80 percent higher than first reported when the leak first was detected late last week.

“Entergy will continue to report its findings to the NRC and other stakeholders,” Pietrangelo said. "This is in accordance with the industry’s voluntary groundwater-protection program involving all nuclear power plant operators to improve the management of situations involving radiological releases to groundwater.”

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Nuclear Energy Institute 1201 F St NW D.C., DC - 20004

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 11545 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD - 20852

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