Last Sunday, Greenville News reported that the Nuclear Station of Oconee releases its Nuclear discharges into Keowee River which flows into Lake Hartwell. This nuclear plant discharge mainly consists of water that has been contaminated with radioactive materials, primarily Tritium.
Sandra Magee, the spokesperson for Duke Energy, assured the public that the nuclear releases are safe and do not pose any danger to health and the environment. The radioactive Tritium that is released is way below what is mandated. This released Tritium is also reported to agencies that regulate nuclear reactors. Duke Energy also conducts regular monitoring and testing of the waterways around the Oconee nuclear stations as well as the groundwater.
Bob Guild, who is an environmental lawyer for Columbia, said that because there are already a number of ways where people can be exposed to radiation, there should be no more additional sources for it, as it will not do anyone good. Tritium is a naturally occurring radioactive material. It is generally present in water in very small amounts. It is also a common by-product in the operation of Nuclear reactors. Tritium basically enters the body by drinking water that contains it. It can also be inhaled in air that has been contaminated with or absorbed by the skin. Tritium has very low radioactivity and is released by the body quickly. However, an excessive exposure to this radioactive material can increase a person’s risk for developing cancer.