Radioactive tritium leak at Plant Hatch discovered yesterday

Will Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers say this tritium leak at Plant Hatch is not a problem, like he did about the one in September 2011? Meanwhile, how many tritium leaks have you heard of from solar panels or wind mills?

According to the NRC’s Event Notification Report for February 14, 2013, OFFSITE NOTIFICATION DUE TO TRITIUM RELEASE ONSITE,

“As part of routine rounds on 2/13/13, site personnel discovered an overflow condition at a collection tank containing water with low levels of tritium (approximately 6,000 pCi/L). The discharge pump for the tank was found to be nonfunctional which resulted in the overflow condition. Following discovery, a portable pump was utilized to pump the water to the normal monitored discharge path and terminate the overflow condition. The exact volume could not be determined but it is estimated that the volume of water that overflowed to the ground was greater than the 100 gallon threshold for voluntary reporting as indicated in Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) 07-07, ‘Industry Ground Water Initiative-Final Guidance Document.’ A rough estimate of the release is between 100 and 300 gallons. The tritium was contained to a small area on the plant site in the vicinity of the discharge structure, and there is no significant potential for off-site impact or impact to on-site personnel.

“Because the leak remained on site, there will be no offsite impact to drinking water sources. Furthermore, the release posed no threat to employees or the public. Southern Nuclear [SNC] will continue to monitor the affected area as required.

Sure, and they’ve got a ten-mile-radius emergency plan for Plant Hatch, too! Nevermind the Floridan Aquifer that underlies the whole coastal plain hereabouts, and that we drink from over here, only 100 miles from Plant Hatch. The report says they’ll report to the state:

“In accordance with SNC’s groundwater protection procedures and the NEI guidance, a voluntary notification of this discovery will be made to the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Division and other agencies to inform them of this matter. The NRC Region II Resident Inspector was also notified.

“Reference: Condition Report 589402. Event occurred at 1111 EST, decision to make offsite notifications authorized at 1545 EST.”

The tank was the outfall collection tank. Environmental Protection Agency limit for tritium in drinking water is 20,000 pCi/l.

Or we could shift to conservation, efficiency, sun, and wind, and not worry about radioactive tritium.


PS: Owed to William Turner.