HomeIndustry SectorsEnergy EfficiencyRadioactive threat in fish found in US state of Vermont

Radioactive threat in fish found in US state of Vermont

Entergy Corporation’s
Vermont Yankee
nuclear power plant
New York, United States — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 03 August 2011 – Vermont health regulators say they found a fish containing radioactive material in the Connecticut River near the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant of Entergy Corporation “’ an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production and retail distribution operations in the United States.

Announcing this development here, the state said it needed to do more testing to determine the source of the Strontium-90, which could cause bone cancer and leukemia. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin wants the 620MW reactor shut in March 2012 when its original operating licence expires.

“Today’s troubling news from the Vermont Department of Health is another example of Entergy Louisiana putting their shareholders’ profits above the welfare of Vermonters,” Shumlin said in a statement. “I am asking my Health Department to keep a close eye on test results moving forward to determine the extent of any contamination that has reached the environment.”

But New Orleans-based Entergy, the second biggest nuclear power operator in the United States, wants to keep the reactor running for another 20 years under a new licence.

Entergy filed a complaint in federal court to block the state from shutting the reactor next year. Officials at the company were not immediately available for comment.

“A finding of Strontium-90 just above the lower limit of detection in one fish sample is notable, because it is the first time Strontium-90 has been detected in the edible portion of any of our fish samples,” the Vermont Department of Health said on its website.

It added that it did not know how the Strontium-90, which is both naturally occurring in the environment and a byproduct of nuclear power production and nuclear weapons testing, got into the fish. “We cannot associate low levels of Strontium-90 in fish in the Connecticut River with Vermont Yankee-related radioactive materials without other supporting evidence,” the report said.

The Health Department asked for additional analysis on the fish that contained the strontium-90 and also on other fish samples. This analysis will take weeks to complete.