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Tritium from Vt. nuke plant in Connecticut River via Boston.com

By Dave Gram Associated Press / August 17, 2011

MONTPELIER, Vt.—Radioactive tritium that leaked from the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant into surrounding soil and groundwater has now reached the nearby Connecticut River, the state Health Department said Wednesday as it released new river water test results.

Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen issued a statement late in the day saying water samples from along the river’s shoreline near the nuclear plant on July 18 and 25 had tested positive for tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that has been linked to cancer when ingested in large amounts.

He said two samples showed tritium at 534 and 611 picocuries per liter, just above the lower limit the can be detected by testing instruments. The Environmental Protection Agency safety standard for tritium in drinking water is 20,000 picocuries per liter.

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