Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.)
December 20, 2005


By Greg Clary

BUCHANAN -- Federal nuclear regulators confirmed this afternoon that
radioactive water is showing up in storm sewer lines and recently dug
wells near Indian Point 2 as engineers try to determine the cause of
the leak and its movement in the groundwater at the site.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said elevated
tritium levels were found in manholes and testing wells near Indian
Point 2, where radioactive water has leaked as much as two liters a
day since the end of August.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the tritium levels found in the new
wells and the sewer manholes do not constitute a public health concern
because they are not in drinking water sources, but they exceed
acceptable Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Sheehan also said a well dug near the Hudson River to test for tritium
showed levels of tritium below the EPA's acceptable levels of 20,000
picocuries/liter of water and that the amount of tritium released by
the company into the Hudson River still falls within acceptable
discharge levels.

Tritium most commonly is found in self-illuminating exit signs or
watches and emits a relatively weak radiation that can increase the
risk of cancer.

A spokesman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, which owns and operates the
two working nuclear reactors at Indian Point, said the elevated levels
in the manholes on site were not unexpected because of the sewer
pipes' proximity to the testing wells.

Entergy spokesman Jim Steets said the leaking water, which has been
captured by a specially designed system since early September has all
but dried up.

"We're getting an ounce over several days now," Steets said.

The company still hasn't determined the cause of the leak, which came
from a 400,000-gallon spent fuel pool at Indian Point 2.