By Matthew Jahnke
Two recent efforts to dump liquid radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear power reactors into adjacent waters have been stopped. On July 24, the shuttered Pilgrim Nuclear near Plymouth, Massachusetts — a General Electric Mark I reactor like the Fukushima meltdowns — was prohibited from discharging water into Cape Cod Bay under the state’s Ocean Sanctuaries Act. The act prohibits the “dumping or discharge of commercial, municipal, domestic, or industrial waste” into protected areas. For years, local activists, environmentalists, the fishing community, State Senator Susan Moran, and others have worked to halt owner Holtec International’s planned dumping of some 1.1 million gallons of radioactively contaminated water.
Likewise, Indian Point station, a three-reactor complex near Buchanan, New York, was also prevented from dumping an estimated one million gallons of radioactive water into the Hudson River when a state prohibition was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul on August 18. Holtec, which also owns Indian Point, continues to assert that the release of water would not be harmful to public health. For now, the bill requires the wastewater to remain stored at the 240-acre site in Buchanan.