Radioactive tritium from Vermont nuke plant in river

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Health officials say a radioactive form of hydrogen that leaked from a Vermont nuclear plant into soil and groundwater has reached the nearby Connecticut River.

State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen said Wednesday water samples from the shoreline near the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant last month tested positive for small amounts of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that’s been linked to cancer when ingested in large amounts.

Gov. Peter Shumlin wants more wells to pull contaminated water from the ground on the Vermont Yankee site. He says he’s “very concerned.”

Tritium has leaked from nuclear plants around the country. It’s particularly problematic for Vermont Yankee as it seeks to renew its license.

New Orleans-based plant owner Entergy Corp. is suing Vermont in federal court over the state’s efforts to shut the plant down.

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