Battle persists over dumping of treated radioactive waste into Hudson River
The ongoing battle over the disposal of treated radioactive waste into the Hudson River remains a contentious issue between environmental activists and Holtec International.
The company, responsible for decommissioning the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant since 2021, faced opposition when it announced plans to release treated wastewater into the river, sparking an uproar among environmental activists.
Environmental experts warn of Indian Point owner plans to discharge radioactive waste into Hudson River
Holtec officials argue that the level of radioactive content in the water to be released will be well below the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's allowed levels. They point out that while Indian Point was operational, it had released treated wastewater into the Hudson with NRC approval.
However, the controversial plan led to significant pressure, resulting in the state senate and assembly passing a bill to halt Holtec's wastewater release. Yet, as of now, the bill remains unsigned by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Last night, activists attended a meeting held by the Decommissioning Oversight Board, where they advocated for the bill's prompt signing.
"It's very, very frustrating, I feel like the real core issues are not being answered. I think it's something that they've made their mind up about already. I think they're facilitating Holtec's plan," says Tina Volz, member of Stop Holtec Coalition.
"There has to be a point where we say no more toxic wastes get dumped in our waterways. They're not sewage systems. They're not garbage cans," says Tracy Brown, president of Riverkeeper.
NRC officials at the meeting say there are strict guidelines that must be met and they have inspectors on site to make sure the proper process is followed.
"That process involves treating the water, running it through filters, putting it into a tank, and then doing a test. And they would test along the way also to see what was being released," says Neil Sheehan, a spokesperson for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Currently, officials from the governor's office are reviewing the bill. Holtec officials expressed their disappointment with the bill's passage.