August 7, 2011
“Hey, don’t look at us” has been Entergy Corporation’s response to the discovery of Strontium-90 in fish from the Connecticut River.
But the contamination, revealed this week by the Vermont Department of Health, promises to complicate the utility’s effort to extend the license of its aging Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant.
One of the most lethal by-products of nuclear fission, Strontium-90 was found in the bones of nine of 13 fish collected from the Connecticut River last summer, and for the first time, in the edible flesh of one fish.
That fish was collected nine miles upstream from the Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, a distance that encouraged Entergy officials to cast doubt on the source of the contamination:
We are aware that the Vermont Department of Health may have detected strontium-90 in some fish from the Connecticut River. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Vermont Yankee is the source for the strontium-90. We have 31 monitoring wells on site that are tested regularly. No groundwater sample from any well at Vermont Yankee has ever indicated the presence of strontium-90, or any other isotope other than tritium. We do not know why the Governor would suggest Vermont Yankee is the source, but there is no factual basis for that suggestion.”