groundwater sample shows the presence of tritium at 400 times the federal
drinking water standard in a monitoring well 3.6 miles from the Columbia River
at the Hanford nuclear reservation. An internal Hanford memo, obtained by the
Tri-City Herald, says it could take the underground plume as little as three
years or as many as 30 years to reach the river.
information will be available in a few weeks as to the concentration of the
tritium and how serious a threat it poses to the river. A tritium concentration
of 20,000 picocuries of radiation in one liter of water is the federal drinking
water limit. The reading at the monitoring well was 8 million picocuries.
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.