Monday, November 17, 2008

IMPORTANT letter from Dr. Busby

by way of:
Cathy Garger

If you’ve been following the ongoing saga of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on New York’s Hudson River, you already know about the long history of underground radioactive leaks seeping out of two spent nuclear fuel pools there. It is also possible you might have heard the buzz - or, read, in this “mission accomplished” article that 500,000 gallons of radioactive water has been dumped by Entergy Corporation into the Hudson River.

The explanation of this dumping process was offered by a July 31, 2008 report called the “Indian Point Independent Safety Evaluation”:

“When all fuel has been removed, the pools will be drained. Pool drainage is a two‐step process. First the water level will be lowered to 2‐3 feet. The residual water layer will provide radiological protection while the debris and sludge in the bottom of the spent fuel pool is removed, after which the remaining water will be drained by April 2009. The removed debris will be collected and, based on activity level, either shipped off‐site for disposal or stored on‐site in the interim radioactive waste disposal facility.”
If you’re new to the matter of what nuclear power plants do with all of their radioactive materials after making some steam to generate a bit of electrical energy? A spent fuel pool, according to “The Code Killers: An Expose” is “where used nuclear reactor cores are placed after use in a reactor…The amount of spent fuel in the pool is usually dozens of times more than is in the reactor itself.”

Indian Point spent fuel pool 1 has been holding all of the nuclear materials from Indian Point 1, a reactor which operated from 1962 to 1974. Thus, the drainage solution offered to prevent the continued underground leaking of unfiltered radioactive fluids from migrating underground into local groundwater and Hudson River was to clean up the radioactive water – or, at least, tidy it up a bit – and then get rid of it… by dumping (yes dumping) it into the Hudson River.

So, with jaw dropped and mouth possibly still hanging wide open (as this writer’s has been since first learning of this)… you might be asking yourself, “Is this really so? Did Entergy Corporation actually just get away with dumping 500,000 gallons of radioactively contaminated water directly into the Hudson River?!”

Well, the simple answer is yes – and no.

According to the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) or, as it is more aptly called, “Nuclear Radiating Committee,” by those aware of what these federal pro-nukers actually do, the entire 500,000 gallons of water from the Indian Point1 spent fuel pool have not been dumped – not all of it, not yet, that is.

According to Neil Sheehan of the NRC in a November 14 statement to this writer, the amount of “dirty” water poured into the Hudson was not 500,000 gallons, but rather… 459,000 gallons. The entire NRC statement is featured below for your edification – and reading amazement.
Well, what became of the remaining contaminated water in the Indian Point Pool 1, you might ask? As Mr. Sheehan relays the story, Entergy is apparently saving the worst for last.

Yes, the worst is yet to come. Reportedly, approximately 50,000 gallons of the very worst radioactive materials – the ones surrounding the “sludge” (near the reactor cores themselves) are going to be filtered – until the radioactivity is lessened to a level that the feds can legally bless it and anoint it with their most *un*-holy water, and allow Entergy get away with dumping the worst of it into the Hudson. Now, mind you, these 50,000 gallons or so still remaining contain the most deadly types of radioactive poison chemicals ever to have been created.

Some solution, eh? Drain the contaminated pool, filter it to get some of the radioactivity out, and then dump the amount of radioactivity you can get away with into the Hudson. I don’t know – maybe it’s just me, but it seems that Entergy’s being allowed to get away with… mur… uh, let’s just say, destruction of life, in legalized form.

Was there any other option than dumping the “dirty” water into the majestic Hudson, you might be wondering? Why, indeed, yes, there was, according to Dr. Chris Busby, Green Audit Co-Founder and Director and Founder of Low Level Radiation Campaign who stated in private correspondence with this writer on November 17, “They should have moved the water to another tank and stored it there; then dug out the mud and stored that in a different tank.

Forever. “Dr. Busby has even more to say (to follow below) on this dirty “business” of what kind of radioactive poisons are contained within the remaining contmainated water. Could they have filtered all radioactive contaminants out, as Entergy tried to claim in its October 6 statement,
“The filtration and removal of all contaminants from Unit 1 at Indian Point is a major achievement and milestone for the plant.”

I won’t paraphrase what the internationally renown radiation scientist and researcher, Dr. Chris Busby says. Dr. Busby’s letter in full on this matter (and the NRC statement below it) is quoted here so you can read Dr. Busby’s comment and – think about its implications for yourself.
As time is of the essence, I’ll cut right to the chase. In short, the residents in the tri-state area now have an important decision to make. There are still roughly 50,000 gallons of the most contaminated water known to human kind being readied for dumping into the Hudson River.
May all those concerned – including residents from Connecticut, New York, and all down the Jersey coast – consider telling Entergy Corporation to stop relieving itself and using the Hudson River as its personal nuclear toilet in which to excrete its nuclear dumps.

Dear Cathy

I have had a look at what you sent. I note that there are no numbers, no data. Perhaps this is on purpose. The idea is straightforward: the stuff is leaking into the groundwater due to hydrostatic pressure in the pond, so take away the water and no pressure. But here are a few comments.

First, you are right that tritium cannot be filtered as it is essentially water. Second, filtration can only remove particles larger than the filter pore size, and below about 2 microns it gets very hard to push anything through a filter. So particles less than 1 micron will get through. I think there will be a lot of particles that get through. Then, anything that is soluble will get through, because it is molecules. You can’t filter salt water and get out the salt.

Caesium-137 is soluble and probably the major radioactive component of the mixed fission products in the pool. Strontium-90 is also soluble although less so, so are the dangerous alpha emitters uranium U-235, U-238 and U-234 and plutonium-239 and Pu-238 and Am-241 and the beta emitter Pu-241. There is also Co-60, also soluble to an extent, all depending on the acidity of the water in the pond. I would need to know the concentrations of these things in the final effluent, I note they haven’t given those. The question to ask is for a table of activities in the final discharge water of these substances above.

These substances attach to silt in the river and wash around the shores. They then get blown ashore as inhalable (respirable) particles by a well described effect called sea to land transfer and the cancer rate on the coastal strip goes up. I have data that shows that in Connecticut, it is the coastal counties close to the Millstone plant that have significantly higher child leukemia than the counties away from the coast, a paper I will write up when I get a moment: Joe Mangano gave me the numbers. It's the effect I found in the Irish Sea due to discharges from Sellafield. People who live near fine mud are most at risk.
They should have moved the water to another tank and stored it there; then dug out the mud and stored that in a different tank. Forever.

Best regards
Dr Chris Busby

Castle Cottage
Sea View Place A
berystwyth SY231DZ UK
tel +44-1970-630215
November 14, 2008 statement from Neil Sheehan, NRC regarding Indian Point1 Spent Pool Drain-down

They flooded up the pool last 5/20 and the idea was that they would start the drain down on 9/15. They completed the drain-down on 10/1, and on 10/31 they announced that they had removed the sludge at the bottom of the pool.

So, as far as the liquid that was in the pool, the water that was in the pool, it involved about 459,000 gallons. What they did was filter that water through a series of 7 filters to make sure that there was no contamination that would have been above federal limits for release to the River. They also had sampled it before they even put it through the filters so they knew that they had water that had very low levels, very low concentrations of radioactivity. In any case, they ran it through this series of 7 filters, and then released it to the River.

There was also some water, once they drained it, down near the bottom, there was some sludge at the bottom, from all the years of use, there was some water that was in and around that sludge that, as an extra precaution, they not only ran it through those filters, but they also then ran it thru the radioactive water clean up system for the IP unit 2 and put it in a tank. They will sample that and they may run it through again, but they will not release that until they are fully satisfied that that water, again, is within allowable levels for release to the River. They don’t have an exact estimate on how much water is involved that was associated with the sludge. But it fit within a 75,000 gallon tank. They think it may only be somewhere in the order of 50,000 gallons or less, but they don’t have a firm estimate right now.

*****Cathy Garger is an anti-radiation freelance writer, public speaker, and activist who has recently joined the Green Nuclear Butterfly Blogger writing staff.

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