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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Tritium leak into local water supply?

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Last week officials with the city of San Clemente shut down the drinking water supply until tests could be performed to determine whether or not a tritium leak from the San Onofre nuclear power plant had contaminated the city’s water supply. Preliminary findings conclude the presence of tritium in ground water below the power plant but have not been able to determine the extent of the leak into any local drinking water supply. Tests are continuing contaminated water is being pumped almost 2 miles offshore.

Our California law firm has been investigating several hazardous sites where the presence of tritium, TCE and other cancer-causing agents have been found.

They discovered that groundwater beneath the reactor complex was tainted with 50,000 to 330,000 picocuries of tritium per liter.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking-water safety limit for tritium is 20,000 picocuries per liter. California has recommended a “public health goal” of no more than 400 picocuries per liter of drinking water, a level that state environmental officials determined could still cause one cancer case per million people exposed.

Leaks of tritium, which can cause cancer, miscarriages and birth defects, are increasingly stoking fears in communities near nuclear plants. A tritium leak that contaminated millions of gallons of groundwater near the Braidwood Nuclear Generating Station in northeast Illinois led that state to sue the plant’s owner in March.