Source of VY tritium elusive

By JOSH STILTS /B. Reformer Staff       full article – http://www.reformer.com/localnews/ci_17456040 Wednesday February 23, 2011

BRATTLEBORO — During a conference call with Vermont Yankee staff last week regarding the ongoing groundwater contamination investigation at the plant, technicians said the source is still unknown.

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Pressure tests and boroscope exams have been completed on two of five underground lines in the vicinity of the RAD Waste Building at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan.

The plant stack sump discharge line and the Augmented Off-gas Delay Pipe Drain Line have also been checked, he said.

One possibility of the source could be a phenomenon called rainout.

Sheehan said rainout refers to what happens when an airborne release of tritium is occurring from the plant, typically via the plant stack, at the same time there is precipitation…..

There’s still no understanding why the leak is happening but there is a plethora of options that are being investigated, Irwin said. Josh Stilts can be reached at jstilts@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.

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