Another Well At Yankee Contaminated With Tritium

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(Host) Another well on the grounds of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has become contaminated with radioactive tritium.

The tritium is at a fairly low level, but the well is in the same area as another well that was confirmed last week to be contaminated.

Neil Sheehan is with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(Sheehan) "And both of these wells are a fair distance from the pre-existing plume."

(Host) The plume is an area of underground water that was contaminated by tritium leaks first identified at Yankee last year.

But there are questions whether the latest discoveries are related to last year’s. That’s because they’re north of where officials believed the contamination would move in the groundwater.

Sheehan says scientists are trying to track the source.

(Sheehan) "Whether there could be a conduit or a pipe underground that could have led to some of that other tritium branching off, or whether this is an entirely new source of leakage, we just don’t know that at this point. But hopefully some answers will emerge some time soon."

(Host) Plant officials say they were unable to test for the presence of tritium for almost two weeks early this year because equipment was broken.

It was repaired by the middle of January and that’s when the latest discoveries were confirmed.

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