Vermont Yankee Says Tritium Leaks Have Stopped

03/25/10 12:04PM By Susan Keese

AP Photo/Matthew Cavanaugh

(Host) Vermont Yankee says it's stopped the leaks of radioactive tritium and has developed a plan for cleaning it up.

Entergy Vermont Yankee spokesman Larry Smith says plant officials met with state and local officials this morning for an explanation.

(Smith) "Just filling them in on everything about this investigation, and as of yesterday, our successful efforts to locate the source of tritium, stop all of the leaks and now move into remediation of soil and groundwater on the site."

(Host) Smith says two underground drain lines between buildings on the plant site were leaking. A clogged drain allowed water that was contaminated with tritium to escape into surrounding soil and groundwater.

Vermont Yankee has developed a plan for dealing with the contamination. About 150 cubic yards of soil will be excavated and hauled away for disposal.

Smith says there's also a plan for the contaminated water that has been collected.

(Smith) "For the groundwater, the triated groundwater, which we estimate to be about 300,000 gallons, we actually as of today will be pumping that water out of an extraction well that's on site. We'll be putting it in bladders, huge bladders. And we'll actually be processing every single ounce of that water back into the plant for processing. It'll be make-up water in the reactor."

(Host) Vermont Yankee first reported the leaks in January. The company has come under fire because it previously had told state officials that there were no underground pipes on the plant grounds that carried radioactive material.

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