An explosion occurred on Saturday May 9th at the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York city which started a fire then caused an oil leak into the Hudson River the next day.
The oil leak into the River Sunday May 10th was 40 miles north of New York City having Governor Andrew Cuomo worried about major environmental damage.
In the past, Cuomo has pushed to shut down the plant because of how close it is to New York City’s population. He visited the plant both the day of the fire on Saturday and the leaking Sunday.
Oil leaking happened due to its holding tank overflowing during the transformer explosion according to emergency and plant officials.
Cuomo was told that crews were trying to prevent the spilling by cleaning it beforehand but they were unaware of the amount of oil that was leaking out.
The fire caused the plant’s Unit 3 reactor to close, while Unit 2 stayed open.
The largest U.S. nuclear power operators, Entergy Corp or ETR.N, said the plant’s condition was no danger to the public or its employees.
Yet Cuomo reported to Reuters, “If you are on site, you see an oil sheen all over the area where the transformer went on fire, and it was a significant area that was covered by oil, foam and water.”
Even with a raising concern, the Governor believed “The transformer fire in and of itself was not dangerous. But the fear is always that one situation is going to trigger another. If something goes wrong here, it goes very wrong for a lot of people.”
At first fire crews believed the fire was extinguished, but when it reignited they were forced to extinguish it again.
The transformer explosion must have reached around 300-400 feet to reach the reactor and cause damage.
On site were 1,000 employees which work at the 50 year old plant. The plant is one out of the 99 other nuclear plants which are licensed to operate in the U.S.
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s website about 20 percent of U.S. electricity use is generated at this location.