August 5, 2008
Radioactive material found near plant
By Greg Clary
Gannett News Service
BUCHANAN — Radioactive strontium 90 has been found in trace amounts in a monitoring well next to Indian Point — the first time the isotope has been detected in off-site groundwater since workers discovered a spent fuel pool leak three years ago.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to speak with county officials and others in an afternoon conference call today with Entergy, so the company could detail the preliminary test results it found during routine well sampling on the property, according to NRC documents obtained by The (Westchester) Journal News.
Entergy Nuclear, which owns and operates Indian Point, has been working to stop spent fuel pool leaks that have sent water containing strontium 90 and tritium into the Hudson River.
The test results show strontium levels that are less than 1/16th of federal allowable limits for drinking water, the well tested was not for drinking water.
NRC officials said it was the first time since the leaks showed up in 2005 on the Indian Point property that strontium 90 had showed up in off-site wells.
According to the documents, Entergy officials believe the sample showed the traces of strontium 90 because the most recent test are conducted with a more sensitive analysis, not because of increased levels of radioactivity.
NRC officials said they are fast-tracking a portion of the sample that they took during the test, to check the results as quickly as possible.