ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Kayaking, fishing and boating – the Hudson River is a tourist attraction here in New York. During session, lawmakers proposed a bill to prohibit disposing radioactive waste water into the Hudson, which was just signed by the Governor. “This has been a multi-month campaign so we’re really happy to get this victory,” said Tracy Brown, President at Hudson River Keeper.
The legislation was proposed when a company by the name of Holtec announced its plans to decommission the Indian Point Power Plant, located just north of New York City. Part of their plan included dumping radioactive waste waters into the River. “The waste water in question still has radioactive materials in the form of tritium in the water so that’s a material that’s similar to water so it’s very hard to remove,” said Brown.
River Keeper would like to see Holtec store the water in casks where some of its radiation will decrease. “If they’re held on site in casks we have a 15-year time window during which the plant will be having the decommissioning activities happen, so that gives us a lot of time to look at other safe alternatives, whether it’s staying on the site, or other methods for dealing with wastewater,” explained Brown.
But Holtec told Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige, the disposal would have been within federal guidelines and would not have negatively impacted the health and safety of the public. In a statement they went on to say: “In the interim, we will evaluate the impact to our decommissioning milestones and the overall project schedule.”
Senator Pete Harckham who sponsored the bill weighed in, “We’ve heard there may be legal challenges, we just don’t know. I think it’s premature to say, I really hope that Holtec does not go the legal route. I hope that we can come together as a community and work collaboratively with Holtec to decide what the next method is and let’s move forward in a safe and expeditious manner.” The next decommissioning board meeting is in September where it’s expected Holtec will give an update.