BEACON, NY – Hudson River Sloop Clearwater reacts to Indian Point’s 600 gallon oil spill into a drainage canal leading to the Hudson River in Buchanan, NY. Jerry Nappi, spokesman for Indian Point parent Entergy, says the oil leaked from a cooling system for the oil, which lubricates the plant’s turbine. Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Indian Point on Friday night, and said that under DEC oversight, Entergy’s cleanup contractors, Miller Environmental, deployed absorbent booms to collect the petroleum sheen in the discharge canal and to prevent the spill from reaching the Hudson River. Governor Cuomo, who has long called for the shutdown of Indian Point, says the oil spill is just the latest problematic incident there.
“The recent leak of oil into the discharge canal at Indian Point is just one more in a long litany of problems and unplanned shutdowns at Indian Point that are now happening with increasing frequency,” said Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. “Barely a month goes by without a problem, from tritium leaks to faulty bolts inside the reactor core, transformer fires to faulty valves and bird droppings causing loss of the external power needed to ensure safe operation of these two aging reactors. With severely overcrowded fuel pools and the possibility of a spontaneous fuel pool fire, the continued operation of this plant presents a clear danger to NYC and the Mid-Hudson Region, and it is only a matter of time when one of these incidents crosses the threshold to become the one we wish we had closed Indian Point to prevent.”
“There is clear documentation that there is ample energy on the grid to ensure that the plant is not needed,” said Clearwater’s Interim Executive Director, Dave Conover. “The risks simply do not outweigh the benefits. This is precisely why New York State should be putting its resources to a rapid transition to renewable energy generation, not subsidizing old and failing nuclear facilities,” he added.
NYS Department of Environmental Commissioner Basil Seggos disputes Entergy’s claim that the oil was contained by booms placed in the discharge canal to try to prevent the spill from reaching the Hudson River. Seggos believes the booms were placed improperly and may have allowed some of the hundreds of gallons of spilled oil to escape containment. The cooling mechanism that developed the oil leak has been shut down, and the turbine it served is now operating with a secondary cooling mechanism until Entergy finds out what happened with the first one to cause the discharge of the oil. Indian Point Units 2 and 3 remain in full operation as further investigation continues.