Mar 13, 2018

Groundwater Contamination Discovered Near Former Nuclear Plant

The contamination is slightly below the federal advisory limit, but a do not drink advisory has been issued regardless

Groundwater contamination in Genoa, Wisc.

Elevated levels of tritium have been found in a monitoring well near a former nuclear power plant in Genoa, Wis. The groundwater contamination was discovered by LaCrosseSolutions, a subsidiary of the nuclear waste disposal company EnergySolutions, after being contracted by property owners Dairyland Power Cooperative to complete the cleanup of the site active from 1967 to 1987. 

LaCrosseSolutions reported 24,200 picocuries per liter recorded on Feb. 24, just below the U.S. EPA’s drinking water limit of 25,000 picocuries per liter. The cleanup agency reported the groundwater contamination to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which are working together to find the source of the leak. A do not drink advisory has been placed on neighboring communities, though both LaCrosseSolutions and the NRC have called the water safe to drink.

“Based on the information we have so far this should not have any impact on public health and safety,” said NRC Spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng.

LaCrosseSolutions has stopped dismantling the containment tower while inspectors work to find the source of the leak, according to the La Crosse Tribune. Other decommissioning activities are continuing, however.