Friday, April 19, 2024

Indian Point owner sues NY to overturn law banning radiological water in Hudson River


Indian Point owner sues NY to overturn law banning radiological water in Hudson River

Thomas C. Zambito New York State Team

The owners of the shuttered Indian Point nuclear power plant sued the state of New York today, claiming a law banning the discharge of radiological water into the Hudson River is a “blatant infringement” of the federal government’s role in nuclear safety.

The lawsuit filed by Holtec International in U.S. District Court in Manhattan asks a judge to declare a law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in August unconstitutional.

It claims the measure, backed by Democratic lawmakers from the lower Hudson Valley, was billed as a way to protect real estate values in river towns when the true intent was to regulate radiological health and safety.

“This false pretense does not change the fact that the State is attempting to regulate matters with a direct effect on radiological safety,” the lawsuit says.

Earlier versions of the bill mentioned possible health risks caused by exposure to radiological material. The final version did not.

Months after the law was signed, Holtec announced that if it wasn’t allowed to dump a million gallons of radiological water used to cool nuclear fuel into the Hudson it would need another eight years to tear down the plant, extending its timetable to 2041.

“The failure of New York State to respect Federal Law, and follow the facts and science of the issue, left us no other means for remedy,” Holtec said in a statement issued today. “The passage of the bill has already delayed the planned completion of the decommissioning of Indian Point an additional 8 years, which hurts the local community’s desire to see the project completed and the property returned as an asset for economic development in the region.  We look forward to the legal process moving along on this important decision.”

Environmental groups, including Riverkeeper, claimed the best course was to house the water on the 240-acre site in Buchanan.

But radiation scientists told the USA Today Network last year the low levels of tritium that would be released into the water posed no danger to public health. The plant’s previous owners had used the Hudson to make similar discharges during the nearly 60 years the plant was in operation.

A Hochul spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit

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