ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — An energy company by the name of Holtec plans on disposing radioactive chemicals into the Hudson River in coming months. In the last days of session, advocates are asking the Governor to sign legislation to prevent this from happening.
Advocates took to the halls of the capitol chanting, “What do we want? Clean water! When do we want it? Now!” They say, the Hudson River is not a sewer and the practice of dumping radioactive chemicals into these waters, must come to an end. The disposal is part of Holtec’s plans to decommission the Indian Point Power Plant, located just north of New York City.
“We want to be sure that our neighborhoods, that our water, that our Hudson River remains clean and as pristine as possible and that’s why we really want to make sure that nothing bad gets dumped into the Hudson if there are other alternatives,” said James Creighton, Deputy Supervisor and Town Councilman in the town of Cortlandt. The disposal would contain radioactive isotope tritium which can be cancer causing. Rather than dumping it into the Hudson, advocates are asking that it be held in tanks to decompose naturally so its half life is removed. Creighton said the issue comes down to costs. “Quite frankly it looks like discharging into the river is the cheapest and easiest way to do it, and that just isn’t acceptable to the community,” he said.
Advocates of the bill, including key sponsor Senator Pete Harckham said the Hudson River is critical for the state’s economic engine and our care for it should reflect that. “From tourism, to industry to boating to water recreation… and so it’s important that we stop using our water bodies as industrial dumping grounds,” he said.
In a statement Holtec said in part: “Indian Point continues to maintain a valid permit to discharge treated liquids to the river, as it has done safely for the last 60 years. These discharges are safe, treated, and monitored to ensure that each one is within the safe permitted limits set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.” Advocates are hoping the bill gets passed this session.