Monday, April 19, 2010

NRC Rules Vermont Yankee Nuke Leak No Threat to Public

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the potential radiation dose to a member of the public due to the migration of tritiated water into the Connecticut River at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon is less than .01 millirems a year. The dose is well below the established limit of 100 millirems a year to a member of the public set forth in NRC regulations. The .01 millirem dose is also well below the Environmental Protection Agency's 25 millirem limit and the NRC's 3 millirem limit on liquid effluent. The average annual dose to people from natural and man-made radiation sources is about 360 millirems.

In January, Vermont Yankee announced water samples of wells on site were contaminated with tritium. By mid-February the source was identified, and the leak was stopped. Remediation measures are now under way.

The Groundwater Protection Initiative (GPI), a voluntary nuclear industry commitment to address the leak of tritiated water at nuclear power plants around the country, includes groundwater monitoring wells at nuclear power plants. GPI led to the quick discovery of the leak and resulting containment and onging mitigation. (Brattleboro Reformer, 4/17/10)

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