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Elevated level of Tritium in water at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station no threat to public

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PeachBottom02

Photo courtesy of Exelon Generation

YORK COUNTY, Pa. – Tritium levels in one of the Peach Bottom’s 27 groundwater monitoring wells briefly rose above EPA standards on April 17. However  a spokesperson at the Station says follow-up testing on April 27, showed tritium in the well returned to levels well below EPA drinking-water standards. Subsequent testing has confirmed that tritium in the well remains well below EPA standards.

The tritium reported by Exelon on April 17 posed no health or environmental threat. Media reports in Maryland of “dangerous” levels of tritium in a monitoring well at the station are false. The newspaper incorrectly characterized information submitted by Exelon Generation to the NRC.

None of the Peach Bottom’s 27 groundwater monitoring wells contain tritium above EPA standards. Tritium at the station remains on plant property and does not impact drinking water sources or the Susquehanna River. Exelon has had a tritium monitoring program for its fleet since 2006.

Tritium is a naturally occurring isotope of hydrogen (H3) that is produced naturally in the upper atmosphere and in greater concentrations in commercial nuclear power plants. It is found in all water on earth and is among the weakest of all radioactive substances. Tritium decays into helium (the same gas used in children’s balloons).

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station operates two boiling water reactors capable of generating 1,140 megawatts of electricity. The plant, located in Peach Bottom Township on the west bank of the Conowingo Pond in York County, has been in commercial operation since 1974.  It is co-owned by Exelon Generation and Public Service and Gas of New Jersey.