An important question is not being addressed at the
Contrary to the media and the industry, the issue
over the level of tritium is not just that it is 22,000 pico Curies/Liter (as
they put it in the paper, only 2,000 over). A more important measure of
the contamination is how does that well level differ from the other
wells. In other words, how does this well compare with actual
background levels? Anyone know what background levels are in SW
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 5:41
Subject: E-M:/ Contamination at Palisades
could be more widespread
For Immediate Release, December 18,
Contact: Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, (240) 462-3216
Radiation-Laced Groundwater Could Be More Widespread
Note to reporters: On Dec. 10 and 13,
the Entergy Nuclear Palisades atomic power plant found concentrations of
radioactive hydrogen, called tritium, in groundwater between the reactor and
Lake Michigan that violate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe
Drinking Water Act limits. Entergy Nuclear Palisades detected concentrations
of 22,000 picoCuries per liter in the groundwater, above EPA?s 20,000
picoCurie per liter Safe Drinking Water Act limits.
than Entergy Nuclear Palisades Knows or Admits
Demand Compulsory Testing in Area and Lake
expert Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and
Environmental Research, reports that "[t]he scientific models used to evaluate
the adverse health impacts of tritium have a number of serious weaknesses."
Dr. Makhijani reports that "...tritium can cross the placental barrier. This
tritium can then be incorporated into an embryo/fetus and irradiate rapidly
dividing cells, thereby raising the risk of birth defects, early miscarriages,
and other problems. Tritium therefore provides an important case study for
examining how radiation protection standards need to be changed in light of
risks to those who are not adult men." Dr. Makhijani, citing the
vulnerability of embryos and fetuses to tritium?s radioactivity, is calling
for Safe Drinking Water Act protections to be strengthened as much as 50
times, as has happened in the State of California; the State of Colorado and
U.S. Department of Energy have agreed to protective levels for tritium in
groundwater 40 times stronger than the EPA regulations in place at
Statement of Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog at
Beyond Nuclear, and board member of Don?t Waste Michigan representing the
Kalamazoo chapter, regarding Entergy Nuclear Palisades? admitted radioactive
contamination of groundwater and the necessity for extensive testing of the
area?s groundwater, surface water, and drinking water supply, including Lake
?Entergy Nuclear Palisades? admitted detections are
likely but the tip of a radioactive iceberg in the form of tritium
contamination spreading throughout the groundwater below, perhaps even into
Lake Michigan itself. Palisades? admission merely confirms what we have long
known ? that this nuclear reactor is far from benign, but rather generates and
releases harmful radioactivity into the environment. These leaks have
undoubtedly worsened as this now forty year old reactor deteriorates and
degrades with age.
In our view, it is criminal for Entergy Nuclear
Palisades to trivialize, downplay, and explain away the potential health
consequences of such tritium contamination in an attempt to deceive the
Area residents and visitors near Entergy?s
Palisades atomic reactor ? especially children, the most vulnerable of all ?
are at risk from drinking radioactively-contaminated well water or Lake
Michigan water. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), EPA, and the
State of Michigan should do their job, and determine the health risks to the
residents of Palisades Park resort community, Covert Township, the City of
South Haven, visitors to the Van Buren State Park, and other area
As Dr. Arjun Makhijani at the Institute for Energy and
Environmental Research has reported, tritium increases the risk not only of
cancer, but also of non-cancerous diseases and maladies in pregnant women and
the embryo/fetus, including ?early miscarriages, malformations, and genetic
defects. Risks can also be multi-generational given that a woman?s ova are
produced while she is in her mother?s womb.?
Poisoned water has been
leaking from the Palisades atomic reactor for who knows how long. Radiation
has now been detected escaping as an underground radioactive plume, but the
question must be asked, has it begun to contaminate Lake Michigan as well?
Nearby residents, and visitors at the Van Buren State Park, may very well have
unknowingly consumed, cooked in, and bathed with radioactively contaminated
water, risking cancer and birth defects with repeated and prolonged exposure.
Those swimming and fishing near Palisades, as at Van Buren State Park, may
also be at increased risk due to radioactivity releases into the Lake Michigan
Area residents and visitors should not be deceived nor
satisfied by hollow claims from Entergy or NRC that exposure to tritium is
harmless. This propaganda has already been debunked by the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences, which has declared that there is no safe dose ? no matter
how small ? of radiation.
Area residents and visitors to Van Buren
State Park must demand their drinking water be independently and fully tested.
Neither Entergy Nuclear nor the NRC can be trusted to protect human health
against corporate greed. Currently, South Haven?s drinking water authority
collects samples of Lake Michigan water from the City?s water intake system,
but then hands them over to Entergy Nuclear for safety testing. This is a
flagrant violation of basic chain of custody protocols designed to prevent
fraud and falsification in scientific safety testing. Extensive on-site and
off-site groundwater monitoring should be undertaken immediately. It must be
conducted by legitimately independent and trustworthy third
Entergy deceptively reported that the contaminated ?well is
located inside the owner controlled area and inside the protected area. This
well is not a drinking water source.? But they apparently have not even
checked off-site groundwater, nor Lake Michigan. Of course, if they do not
look for off-site contamination, they will not find it. And of course, all
groundwater is potentially drinking water. The Van Buren State Park?s
campground, immediately adjacent to Palisades nuclear reactor, uses well water
for drinking. And the City of South Haven uses Lake Michigan as a drinking
water supply, so leaking tritium entering Lake Michigan could flow from
residents? kitchen sink and bathroom taps as radioactively contaminated
drinking, cooking, and shower water.
NRC has allowed Palisades?
now-closed sister atomic reactor, Big Rock up north in Charlevoix, to
discharge 20,000 gallons of tritium contaminated water into Lake Michigan
first via the soil, then via the groundwater, like a radioactive septic field.
Given the proximity of area drinking water supply intakes in Lake Michigan,
this outrage cannot be repeated at Palisades.?
For more information,
contact Kevin Kamps at Beyond Nuclear, (240) 462-3216. Also see http://www.ieer.org/webindex.html#tritium
for more information on tritium?s health hazards.
Radioactive Waste Watchdog
6930 Carroll Avenue,
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
Office phone: (301)
Cell phone: (240) 462-3216