February 5, 2010 - In a community where the elementary school principal's office has a radiation gauge, safety is never far from people's minds. The discovery of radioactive tritium in a groundwater monitoring well at Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has some thinking about it even more now.
"I want it shut down," said Edward Riordan, 42, of Vernon, smoking a cigarette outside Nesbitt's Portside Tavern after lunch Tuesday. "There's radioactivity leaking all over the place."
Riordan, whose late father worked at the plant, said the tritium leak has caused him to rethink his recreational use of the Connecticut River. "I used to swim and fish in it, but I'm not going to now. Now, we're not going to bother."
Tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, can cause cancer if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through skin in large amounts.