Officials Still Searching for Source of Tritium Leak

Oswego, NY – The source of a radioactive isotope at the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant near Oswego is still under investigation.

Since January, plant officials say the amount of tritium has decreased. The level on January 13 was recorded around 5,178 picocuries per liter, while January 20 levels were approximately 3,435 picocuries per liter.

According to nuclear regulatory officials, workers and the public are not at risk.

Meanwhile, higher levels of tritium were found at Entergy's Yankee nuclear power plant in Vermont. A newly dug monitoring well at the Vernon reactor turned up a reading of nearly 775,000 picocuries per liter.

Yesterday, officials said the levels are more than nine times those previously reported and more than 37 times higher than the federal safe drinking water limit.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the regulatory limit of tritium in drinking supplies is 20,000 picocuries per liter. Tritium becomes a danger when it is ingested in large amounts, which could increase the risk of cancer.

The tritium level at the Yankee nuclear facility is about 220 times higher than the level at FitzPatrick.