Thursday, August 18, 2011
"Vermont Health Officials Say Radioactive Tritium From The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Has Reached The Connecticut River" ... Governor Is "Very Concerned"
The Boston Herald reports:
Vermont health officials say radioactive tritium from the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has reached the Connecticut River.
Dr. Harry Chen, the state health commissioner, said late Wednesday that samples of water taken July 18 and July 25 from the river — at the point where contaminated groundwater flows from the shoreline into the river — confirmed the migration of the substance.
Chen says health officials have been tracking the plume of tritium-contaminated groundwater as it moved towards the river and that the readings confirm it has reached the river.
The Daily Mail notes:
Governor Peter Shumlin wants more wells to pull contaminated water from the ground on the Vermont Yankee site. He says he is 'very concerned'.For background, see this and this.
Water tested around 37 of the facilities contained radioactive concentrations exceeding the U.S. drinking water standard and in some cases at hundreds of times over the limit.
One serious case was uncovered at the Braidwood Nuclear Power Station in Illinois, which has leaked more than six million gallons of tritium-laden water in repeated leaks dating back to the 1990s.
The leaks have been uncovered by a year-long Associated Press investigation found by trawling the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) records.
Contaminated: High levels of dangerous tritium are thought to leave the plants via rusted and degraded pipes like this at the now closed Indian Point 1 nuclear plant in New York state
Despite the revelations the NRC and industry bosses consider the leaks a public relations problem, not a public health threat.
It is claimed regulators and industry have weakened safety standards for decades to keep the nation's commercial nuclear reactors operating within the rules.