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Entergy Reactor Less Harmful to Hudson Than Expected

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June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Entergy Corp.’s Indian Point nuclear-power plant near New York City poses less harm to the Hudson River than an earlier study indicated, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

New data provided provided by New Orleans-based Entergy shows that the plume of heated water discharged by Indian Point into the river has a “small” impact and that the number of fish caught in the plant’s water intake system had been over estimated by a factor of 1,000, the atomic regulator said in a draft report posted on the NRC website today.

Environmental groups oppose Entergy’s bid to renew the plant’s license, which expires next year, citing the harmful effects of radiation leaked by Indian Point into the Hudson and the intake of river water to cool its 2,045-megawatt generators.

“It is a well-established fact that Indian Point’s intake of 2.5 billion gallons of Hudson River a day kills over a billion fish and other aquatic life forms every year,” Phillip Musegaas, Hudson River program director for Riverkeeper, a conservation group based in Ossining, New York, said in an e-mail.

Commission staff changed some of the findings from a 2010 report into the environmental impact of the twin-reactor plant located 24 miles (37 kilometers) north of New York City, after Entergy performed a new study showing the plant’s thermal plume and “heat shock” to the lower Hudson would be small and in keeping with New York state’s water standards.

Entergy hasn’t had a chance to review the NRC’s findings, James Steets, a spokesman, said in an e-mail. The 2010 study “effectively stated there would be no environmental impacts precluding Indian Point license renewal,” Steets said.

The commission will accept comments on the supplemental study through Aug. 20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Johnsson in Chicago at jjohnsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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