Radioactive Tritium Found In Another Well At Vermont Yankee

01/21/11 3:14PM By John Dillon

(Host) Another groundwater monitoring well at the Vermont Yankee plant is contaminated with radioactive tritium.

The Vermont Health Department says the well was established in November and the contamination was first discovered late last month.

The well is in an area north of where monitors have been tracking a plume of tritium for the past year. There are six uncontaminated wells between the new one and the plume.

Neal Sheehan of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that the location could be significant.

(Sheehan) "Therefore, this may indicate the presence of a different source of leakage, but investigation will be needed to determine the source."

Bill Irwin is the state's radiological health chief. Irwin also says the new discovery was unexpected and is of concern.

(Irwin) "If this is a new source, we're very interested in understanding what else might have been released."

(Host) Yankee officials say the concentration in the well is below the level that requires automatic reports to regulators.

The company says the discovery doesn't pose any threats to public health.

But Yankee will test levels in the well daily and the Health Department will conduct its own analysis once a week.

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