Sunday, March 11, 2012

What Do You Mean, "There is a Tritium Leak ?????"

We live in the literal "back of beyond."  Now, we are not only troubled by continuing aftershocks from a 5.8 earthquake last August, but the plant that supplies 450,000 rural households with electricity is leaking odorless, colorless, but not harmless, tritium.

    When Central Virginia had a 5.8 earthquake in August, 2011, the anti-nuclear power advocates said that The North Anna Nuclear Power Station, a shade more than ten miles as-the-crow-flies, from the epicenter, would leak radioactive materials.  This concern melted rather quickly for most people, as they addressed the more immediate issues of many of the schools being too damaged to hold classes.  Louisa County had to rotate elementary, middle and high school classes in the same buildings, and attend high school at night, and on Saturdays. Businesses closed, and some families moved away before FEMA ever arrived to set up shop.  More than 100 aftershocks have probably not helped the state of mind of people there, or the buildings, homes, or nuclear facility structural integrity,  or for that matter, the structural integrity of the buildings  in surrounding counties.
              This week, I learned from The Hook, a Charlottesville, Virginia newspaper, that radioactive tritium has been detected   Despite the fact that North Anna was never constructed to take such a seismic hit, Dominion Virginia Power, its owner, was given permission to restart the reactors just a couple of months after the 5.8 quake.   Now, 53,000 picacuries per liter of tritium has been detected in water near the plant. This is double the federal safety level.  In NJ, when tritium leakage has occurred before, free bottled water was distributed to families within a ten mile radius of their plant, and potassium iodide tablets were distributed to people living at that distance as well.

    Here's more information:

      So, if you are thinking about coming to Central Virginia, we have lovely farms, but continuing aftershocks and more seismic activity are likely.   We have a beautiful nuclear facility leaking a little bit of tritium, and we are told no real way to check the welded pipes under the facility for leakage.   Bring your potassium iodate and your bug out bag.   And Canada still won't let me live in my home there more than six months annually. I hope those months spent here are the six months annually where the tritium levels are low.

North Anna Nuclear Power Station    (Photo: Dominion Virginia Power, it's owner)

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