Japan Speaking Series Part 1: On The Road Again


Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen is hitting the road yet again for his third speaking tour of Japan! It will be five years in March since the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi began and the Japanese public continues to search for the truth about nuclear risk and honest answers to their energy future as they face their current government’s push to restart Japan’s atomic reactors. By invitation from various organizations and public interest groups, Arnie will be presenting to communities throughout Japan including those who live in the shadow of atomic reactors, plutonium reprocessing plants, and proposed atomic waste dumps. Join the Fairewinds Crew as we explore some of the key issues that will be discussed during the tour. 

Fairewinds Responds to the Latest Indian Point Tritium Leaks:

According to an Associated Press (AP) report from 2011, three quarters of all U.S. nuclear power plants have reported tritium leaks. News coverage, by the AP and ABC News about the newest reported leak from the aged Indian Point atomic plant located just north of New York City, has shown that tritium levels in groundwater are 740 times the amount allowed in drinking water.

Indian Point atomic power owner Entergy Corp. released a statement confessing that the latest samples from monitoring wells on the plant site found tritium at a level of 14.8 million picocuries per liter- the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set a limit of 20,000 picocuries per liter in drinking water.

Residents living near Indian Point, located in Buchanan, NY, receive their drinking water from reservoirs in the Catskill mountains, not from local wells. The nuclear industry, including Entergy Corp. and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), are attempting to mollify the public by stating that since the groundwater is not directly connected to the area’s drinking water this radioactive leak is not serious.

The truth is that the devastation of radioactive groundwater remains in the soil for generations, contaminates the surrounding environment, contaminates area crops, and creates enormous permanent problems for future decommissioning of the site. When Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen was asked for comment by the Associated Press, he told them “All of that stuff stays in the soil."

Back in 2011, Fairewinds Associates, Inc. was commissioned to provide testimony regarding the numerous tritium leaks already reported at Indian Point.  Retained by Riverkeeper, one of the NGOs associated with protecting the Hudson River, Fairewinds’ testimony (click here and see below) identified Entergy’s inability to locate and prevent radioactive leaks as one of the leading causes for ongoing and future leaks at Indian Point. "There is a leak somewhere,” said Gundersen in response to this most recent leak of radioactive tritium, “and I don't think they know where it is."   

For people living near this aged atomic reactor, this latest toxic groundwater leak at Indian Point is definitely scary business, especially in light of all the poisoned water issues in Flint, Michigan. Contaminated water is an ENORMOUS threat, whether contaminated by lead or radioactivity. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lives a mere 15-miles from Indian Point and has ordered the state's departments of health and environmental conservation to investigate, calling the leak "unacceptable." In addition, when he served as New York’s attorney general, in 2007 Cuomo accused the NRC of being irresponsible as it orchestrated the relicensing of this aged, leaking atomic powered plant.

Monday morning, following the statement by Entergy admitting this latest leak, Fairewinds Arnie Gundersen was interviewed by WBAI radio host Michael G. Haskins during the Morning Show. Listen to Arnie’s initial impressions and expert commentary of Indian Point’s radioactive mess here.