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Oyster Creek Tritium Project

Oyster Creek completed an aggressive, 16-month, buried pipe mitigation initiative at the end of 2010.  The station moved direct buried piping either above ground, into monitored trenches or vaults, or some alternate protective measure to ensure consistent monitoring of the pipes.

Oyster Creek installed a pumping well in fall 2010 and continues to pump groundwater from the aquifer.  The water is discharged into the intake structure and will be extensively diluted as it cycles through the plant into the discharge canal.

In June and July of 2010, eight new on-site monitoring wells were installed at varying depths to bring the total to 22 on-site wells monitoring the Conhansey and Cape May Aquifers.

The results from continuous monitoring of weekly water samples of all on-site water wells further substantiate that:

  • The tritium plume underneath the station has dramatically decreased in concentration since it was identified in April 2009.
  • No detectable levels of tritium have left the Oyster Creek site or affected any drinking water.
  • There has been a continuous reduction in tritium concentration at Oyster Creek, as great as 90 percent in some cases.

Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen with a weak level of radioactivity. It is formed naturally in the upper atmosphere, is a component of rain and is found in virtually all of earth’s surface water. Tritium is produced in greater concentrations in commercial nuclear reactors and is routinely discharged into the environment under strict regulatory guidelines. Tritium eventually breaks down into helium.

 

Timeline of Events [PDF | 109 KB]View the timeline of events for Oyster Creek Generating Station's Tritium project. PDFPDFs require software like the Adobe Acrobat Reader to be viewed properly.

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Tritium Project