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Friday
Aug202010

Radioactivity leaks from U.S. waste storage pools

A new Beyond Nuclear fact sheet documents leaks of radioactivity from five U.S. nuclear facilities' radioactive waste storage and handling pools. Nuclear power plants suffering such leaks have thus far included Indian Point, NY; CT Yankee; and Salem, NJ. In addition, a research reactor irradiated nuclear fuel storage pool has leaked at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, NY, as has the irradiated nuclear fuel handling pool at BWXT (Babcock and Wilcox Technologies, Inc.) in Lynchburg, VA. Highlights ("lowlights") include: multiple storage pools leaking such radioactive poisons as Strontium-90 at Indian Point, which has been detected in fish in the Hudson River; a leak that had been underway for an undetermined length of time from CT Yankee's storage pool; a leak of 100 gallons per day of radioactive water from the Salem Unit 1 storage pool that had been ongoing for at least five years; but Brookhaven's tritium leak outdid even this, having been underway, undetected, for a dozen years, into the aquifer that serves as the sole source of drinking water for over a million Long Island residents; and BWXT's leak of 250 gallons per day took place just 500 yards from the James River. The risks of such leaks grow worse as the pools' concrete walls and steel liners degrade, crack and corrode with age. Obviously, industry monitoring systems and regulatory agency enforcement measures are dismally failing to protect public health and the environment.