Reactors Leaking As Usual

BUCHANAN, NY - Minimizing the hazards of radiation is business as usual at Consolidated Edison. Con Ed's 26-year old pair of nuclear reactors here - known as Indian Point - regularly leak 2 gallons of radioactive water a day. "Imbrittled," cracking and leaking steam tubes are dangerously endemic across the reactor industry. On Feb. 15, one or more of the 3,200 steam tubes inside reactor No. 2 burst, leaking 75 gallons a minute (108,000 gallons a day). Hot, high-pressure radioactive water and steam contaminated the concrete containment building, and an unknown amount of radioactive steam was vented to the outside. Con Ed's Stephen Quinn said that any radiation exposure would have been "so low as to pose no health danger, no need to warn nearby residents, no reason to keep the kids home from school."

- New York Times, Feb. 17 & 19, 2000.