Today, New York State was notified that an unspecified amount of petroleum leaked from a heat exchanger into the discharge canal at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility. The spill did not reach the Hudson River and absorbent booms have been deployed to collect the petroleum sheen. State Department of Environmental Conservation staff have been on site overseeing the clean-up.
This evening, Governor Cuomo toured the facility and spoke to reporters about the petroleum leak. Audio of his remarks is available here; a rush transcript is below.
We're at Indian Point Power Plant. Earlier today there appears to have been a malfunction with one of the turbines and the cooling system of one of the turbines that was leaking oil. The DEC came and did a review of the situation. There is a remediation company that has done work to remediate any oil from leaking into the Hudson River, which we believe at this time has been successful. DEC is going to be back over the weekend to continue to check and monitor the situation.
Obviously, when it comes to Indian Point, it is a situation that requires the highest level of care. This is a nuclear plant that is located near a very, very dense population. As a matter of fact, it is the nuclear plant that is located to the most dense population anywhere on the globe. God forbid there's an accident here, it would be a serious, serious situation.
We have had a number of accidents of late. I spent yesterday in Hoboken, New Jersey, seeing the situation of the train accident there. I've been to Indian Point a number of times for situations – fires, leaks, et cetera. What's striking about Indian Point is one real problem could be one problem too many. The stakes are very, very high. That's why constant vigilance is required. That’s why, frankly, I like to make sure – in a situation like this – that the facts are as represented. Because, again, one mistake could be one mistake too many.
Reporter: Do you know how much oil has spilled?
Governor Cuomo: We don’t know how much oil spilled. The oil spill was connected to the cooling system of the turbine, and that is being monitored now. The suggestion is that the oil spill did not reach the Hudson River but was contained within the plant and the plant discharged into the canal but that’s what we’re continuing to say.
Reporter: You said the remediation plan is going on right now?
Governor Cuomo: Say that again?
Reporter: The remediation action is going on?
Governor Cuomo: The remediation action is going on. The State Department of Environmental Conservation was here today. They will continue to monitor the situation throughout the weekend and on Monday to make sure that the situation is under control.
Reporter: I’m sorry, we just got here from Middletown – can you give a brief overview as to what happened, please?
Governor Cuomo: Yes, I can. We’re at the Indian Point Nuclear power plant. There was an incident earlier today where there was a problem with the cooling system from one of the turbines. Apparently, one of the cooling heat exchangers was leaking oil and obviously then it wasn’t performing its function as a cooling agent, and it was leaking oil into the discharge canal of the plant. The discharge canal of the plant then leads into the Hudson River. So there was a two-fold issue, if you will. Number one, that the question about the cooling system and the turbine, and number two, the effects of oil being released into the Hudson River.
The Department of Environmental Conservation responded. They’ve been here during the day. A private remediation company has been brought in that placed booms and clean up pads in the appropriate places. DEC will continue to monitor the situation throughout the weekend and on Monday.
Any real problem at Indian Point is one problem too many. This is a nuclear power plant that is located in as densely a populated area. There is no nuclear power plant in the globe that is located in as dense an area. So we take it very seriously. A situation like this, I like to see firsthand exactly what the facts are, because when it comes to Indian Point, we don’t have a second chance if it’s the wrong problem.
I've been here a number of times in situations like this. [inaudible] and I feel confident that the situation is under control. But these are frightening times. A lot is going on .We had a train accident yesterday, you know, potential bombing – the Chelsea bombing the week before that. We have to stay on our toes. I believe as Governor my responsibility is to make sure the information I give the people of the state is correct and the best way I know how to do that is to see with my own eyes and ask my own questions so I feel confident in the representation that I make to the people of the state, especially when it comes to something like Indian Point. I feel comfortable the situation is under control.
Reporter: Residents in the area shouldn't be concerned about the Hudson River or oil in the river or in their water?
Governor Cuomo: There is no reason for neighbors to be of concern – to be concerned about this. There is no evidence that the oil leak made it to the Hudson River but that is something we checked today and we will continue to check throughout the weekend. Okay. Thank you.