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Sunday, 07 February 2016 16:39

New York to probe nuclear reactor leak

New York to probe nuclear reactor leak
A radioactive leak at a New York nuclear power plant has dramatically increased the levels of radioactivity in the city's groundwater, prompting officials to order an investigation into the case, Governor Andrew Cuomo says.

Cuomo made the announcement on Saturday, saying he became aware of “alarming” levels of radioactivity in the groundwater below the facility the day before, after water contaminated with tritium leaked from a reactor.

Three monitoring wells at the Indian Point plant in Buchanan, about 40 miles (65 km) north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River, were showing high levels of radioactivity, he said.

At one well, radioactivity spiked by nearly 65,000 percent, from 12,300 picocuries per liter to more than 8 million picocuries, the governor warned.

Cuomo has urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shutter the plant because of doubts over the safe evacuation of the area in the event of an accident.

The governor said the plant's operator, Entergy Corp, has informed him the contaminated water has not moved off the site and poses no public health risk at the moment.

Cuomo said he has directed the state’s environment and health departments to investigate the leak.

ME

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