In Franklin County, Radioactive Material Found In Fish

02/07/12 5:50PM By John Dillon

(Host) The state Health Department says it's found trace levels of radioactive material in fish taken from a northern Vermont lake.

Last year, the department found similar levels in fish caught in the Connecticut River, near the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

State officials say the fish are still safe to eat. The most recent discovery found small amounts of Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 in smallmouth bass caught in Lake Carmi in Franklin County.

Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen says the Lake Carmi results indicate that those fish may have absorbed background levels of radioactivity from global sources.

(Chen) "That tells us radiation is all around us and that the strontium in fish in Lake Carmi probably are resulting from previous nuclear testing and Chernobyl and certainly not related to Vermont Yankee."

(Host) But Chen said the state still cannot rule out the Yankee plant as the source of contamination in the Connecticut River fish.

(Chen) "I don't think there's anyway that I could say it wasn't from Yankee. What I can say is it could have just as well been from Chernobyl. But I think it would be premature to say it wasn't from Yankee"

(Host) A Yankee spokesman says the Lake Carmi test results back up its claim that the nuclear plant was not the source of the radiation found in the Connecticut River fish.

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radioactive fish vermont_yankee politics
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