Dominion Virginia Power has notified federal authorities about the discovery of low levels of radioactive groundwater at the utility's North Anna nuclear power station in Louisa County. A recent groundwater monitoring sample point at the plant recorded a level of 16,500 picoCuries of tritium per liter, according to a report that Dominion filed Friday with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Normal tritrium levels at the particular sample point are 4,000 picoCuries per liter or less. Times-Dispatch.
Beyond Nuclear's take: Levels of 4000 picocuries per liter in water are nowhere near normal since tritium is created and occurs naturally in surface waters at 10 to 30 picoCuries per liter. And although the Environmental Protection Agency standard for tritium concentration is 20,000 picocuries, this level is not safe since tritium crosses the placental barrier in pregnant women. This exposes the fetus, whose enhanced sensitivity to radiation damage is well-known. Studies show tritium exposure is associated with a host of health problems including cancer.