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Hudson River Saved from More Radioactive Waste

Indian Point, Buchanan, NY

The Hudson River and dozens of river communities in Westchester and beyond could be safer and economically stronger now that Governor Hochul has signed the Save the Hudson bill into law. (See our previous coverage.)

The new law bans any discharge of radioactive substances into the Hudson River in connection with the decommissioning of Indian Point managed by Holtec International Corporation.

Governor Hochul said, “My administration remains committed to protecting the economic vitality of the region and working closely with local communities who have advocated so passionately for this cause. The next steps will involve identifying acceptable alternative for wastewater disposal, working with regulators, local officials, Holtec and the State’s Decommissioning Oversight Board.”

According to the nonprofit Riverkeeper and several of their coalition partners, the best wastewater disposal approach is to provide secure on-site storage of the contaminated water on the Indian Point site for at least a period of 12 years. Riverkeeper President Tracy Brown notes, “This would allow for one half life to elapse and reduce the radioactivity of the spent fuel pool water, and protect the economic interests of the state while alternative disposal methods are thoroughly evaluated.”

But this all comes with a cost. in 2021, the New York Times reported, “New York is grappling with the adverse effect the closing will have on another of (former Gov.) Cuomo’s ambitious goals: sharply reducing the state’s reliance on fossil fuels. So far, most of the electricity produced by the nuclear plant, known as Indian Point, has been replaced by power generated by plants that burn natural gas and emit more pollution.”

More information on protecting the Hudson is available here.




Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.
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