A gigantic oil sheen has been spotted in New York’s Hudson River, following an explosion, fire, and oil leak that occurred Saturday at the Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan, just south of Peekskill.
According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, oil made its way into the facility’s discharge drains during the fire. “Several thousand gallons may have overflowed the transformer moat,” said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC.
The fire didn’t cause the release of any radiation and didn’t pose a threat to workers or the public, according to a statement by Entergy Corp, the owner of the nuclear power plant. The transformers are used to step up power produced by the plant before it is transmitted to the grid.
However, “there is no doubt that oil was discharged into the Hudson River,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly said at Indian Point on Sunday. “We have booms in the water now around the discharged pipe to collect any oil that may be in the river.”
The Journal News cites a state official as saying the oil leak “left a sheen of 75-by-100 feet just south of the two reactors, and is likely expanding.”
A boat crew for the watchdog group Riverkeeper—which patrolled the Hudson off Indian Point after Saturday’s transformer fire, looking for possible discharges of transformer oil and firefighting foam into the river—found areas of sheen in many locations, and a “notable odor” in the vicinity of the power plant.
Riverkeeper also noticed that a containment boom at the power plant, designed to hold back the oil leak, itself had a gap in it and notified the state Department of Environmental Conservation, resulting in the deployment of a second boom.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT