Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen
One of the new monitoring wells at Vermont Yankee has a whole lot more picocuries of tritium than we've heard about in the other wells. This is how the company reported the news:
The continuing sampling of monitoring wells is helping the investigation team locate the source. The good news is that one newly installed well, located just to the east of the plant’s condensate water storage tank and some underground piping, appears to be closer to the source because its concentration is 774,825 picocuries per liter.
The well that was first identified with tritium is now at 36,261 picocuries per liter. However, a well about 75 feet to the south of that one that has been as high as 80,458 picocuries per liter, is now down to 69,392. Another recently installed well further south is at 1,940 picocuries per liter, up from a recent level of 1,800 Such variation is as expected with variations of groundwater flow.
The state Health Department's version was somewhat different:
"Vermont Yankee reported today that a new groundwater monitoring well, GZ-7, resulted in a sample with a tritium concentration of about 774,825 picocuries per liter (pCi/l).
GZ-7 is located near the station's condensate water storage tank, between the Advanced Off-Gas Building and the Reactor and Turbine Buildings. (MAP)
This is the highest concentration of tritium yet reported to date. These new findings may indicate the well is near a source of leakage. It may also narrow down the search area and systems to be searched. Groundwater contamination to this degree would be more likely to be from a system of high tritium radioactivity. This raises certain potential sources of the leak up in priority interest.
Vermont Yankee reports that, according to their tests, the other wells on site are still at, or near, previously reported levels of contamination. Specifically GZ-3, the original well found to be contaminated, is at about 36,000 pCi/l, GZ-4 is less than 2,000 pCi/l, and GZ-14 is about 70,000 pCi/l.
Vermont Yankee reports that as of the last verified analysis, all wells are not showing evidence of other radioactivity by gamma spectroscopy.
To date, all drinking water well tests are negative for elevated tritium. Vermont Yankee is now testing the drinking water well nearest the contaminated groundwater monitoring wells, the Construction Office Building well, every day."
- Terri Hallenbeck
Labels: Vermont Yankee
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