Activists raise concerns about toxic water disposal at Three Mile Island

Nuclear watchdogs emailed Governor Shapiro to place a moratorium to ensure no toxic water is dumped into the Susquehanna River.

Author: Matt Klinedinst
Published: 9:56 PM EDT March 17, 2023
Updated: 9:56 PM EDT March 17, 2023

GOLDSBORO, Pa. — Eric Epstein wants the Commonwealth to watch the water during the Three Mile Island decommissioning process. The long-time nuclear watchdog said the Susquehanna River will be a significant source during cleanup.

“You need water to clean the plant up. The water comes in contact with radioactive components, it becomes radioactive, and then the issue becomes, what to do with the water," said Epstein. “We don’t want to establish a precedent where the company simply dumps radioactive water into the Susquehanna River.”

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission currently regulates the amount of water that can be used during the decommissioning process. TMI-1 has rights to use the water from the river, however, TMI-2 does not have those same rights.

“We have two separate timelines and two separate demands for water," said Epstein. "What we want to unify and clarify is that whoever and whatever uses water, when it becomes radioactive, that it doesn’t go back into the Susquehanna River.”

Epstein said he sent a letter to Governor Shapiro’s office, asking him to take action.

“What we’re asking the governor to do is to take the lead and negotiate a memorandum of understanding between the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the owners of the plants, and also the Pennsylvania DEP," said Epstein.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued the following statement to FOX43:

"DEP is actively engaged with NRC and the owners in routine communication so we are aware of activities at the site."

Epstein says the water and waste issue could have ripple effects for years to come.

“This is an issue the community is going to have to negotiate for decades," said Epstein. "Actually, it’s an accident without an ending.”

We reached out to Constellation Energy, who owns TMI-1, for an interview, but they declined to comment.

TMI-2, which was the site of the 1979 accident, is set to be decommissioned by 2037. TMI-1 is set to be decommissioned by 2079.