Thousands of gallons of oil leaked into the Hudson River after a transformer exploded at the Indian Point nuclear plant north of New York City on Saturday. The power plant turned off after the incident. The fire was immediately extinguished, and no injuries were reported.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that emergency crews began cleaning the water that leaked from Indian Point 3.
“There’s no doubt that oil was discharged into the Hudson River,” he said. “Exactly how much, we don’t know.”
Soon after the incident, Cuomo visited the plant and found there were no threats of environmental changes. The governor earlier raised objection for putting up the plant in a densely populated New York City.
When the transformer exploded, it released oil into a tank. When it got over-saturated, the oil leaked into the river through a discharge drain.
Joseph Martens, state department commissioner of environmental protection, said that precautionary measures were taken so that no more oil spills into the water.
Cuomo said that the cleanup work will be done within two days. A spokesman for owner Entergy informed that the plant’s adjacent Unit 2 reactor remained unaffected and is operating well.
A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said thousands of gallons of oil overflowed from the transformer. The Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan supplies electricity to thousands of home and business establishment in New York City and Westchester County.
“These situations we take very seriously. Luckily this was not a major situation. But the emergency protocols are very important,” Cuomo said.
“I take nothing lightly when it comes to this plant specifically.”
It is not yet clear what caused the failure. Investigation is underway. In the recent months, the Indian Point nuclear plant has experienced many emergencies.
“We have to get to the bottom of this,” the governor said.
The environmental watchdog group Riverkeeper said on Sunday that after witnessing the last couple of incidents, it is highly advisable to put a shutter down on the Indian Point plant.