Indian Point Leaked (a Non-Dangerous Amount of) Tritium Into the Groundwater

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Indian Point Concern Renewed Amid Japanese Crisis
Nothing to see here..Photo: Mario Tama/2011 Getty Images

Testing wells have revealed a not especially dangerous but still unsettling tritium spill into the groundwater beneath Indian Point, the three-reactor nuclear-power plant 35 miles north of New York City. The source is still unclear, but one well showed a 65,000 percent increase in radioactivity over the last time it was checked. Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that he was ordering an investigation.

Water with a little bit of tritium in it is often released from nuclear reactors, notes Gizmodo, and tritium in general (which emits a relatively weak form of radiation) is not dangerous unless it’s ingested. The amount released here is far below federal safety limits and is not appearing in drinking water. Indian Point, which provides 30 percent of New York City’s power, has been under investigation because of recent unexpected reactor shutdowns and a transformer fire in May.