Strontium found under New York nuclear plant

High levels of a radioactive material has been found in groundwater near the Hudson River beneath a nuclear plant, the owner said.

The material was nearly three times the amount permitted in drinking water, it was reported on Tuesday.

The groundwater does not reach drinking supplies, and although the strontium-90 is believed to have reached the Hudson River, it would be safely diluted, said Jim Steets, spokesperson for Entergy Nuclear Northeast.

The strontium—which can cause cancer in high doses—was found in a well dug in a search for the source of a leak of radioactive water at the Indian Point complex, about 48km north of New York.

The test well is among nine dug in an attempt to pinpoint the leak. Contaminated water was first found in August.

Entergy’s finding matched tests by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the same sample, Steets said.

The sample also yielded tritium, another potential carcinogen, at levels well above the drinking water standard. High levels had been found earlier in another test well.
The nuclear commission announced on Monday that it would investigate releases of tritium at Indian Point and other plants.

Neil Sheehan, a commission spokesperson, said the agency still believes the radioactivity—given that it is not in drinking water—is well below the level that would “pose a risk to public health and safety”. - Sapa-AP

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