Mark Savage, public affairs and communications director for Palisades, told the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that 13 of its monitoring wells are below the ``minimal detectable activity,'' or MDA, for the substance. But one well still has detectable levels.
``All of the 14 wells, save the one, continue to show MDA,'' Savage said. ``We're trying to determine what that means,'' he said.
Savage said that one well is close to MDA, but ``continues to show slight fluctuations up and down even with all the repairs that we've made.''
The most recent level was 3,000 picocuries per liter of water, according to Savage. ``A picocurie is one trillionth of a curie, so it's a very minimal amount of material,'' Savage said.
A curie is a unit of radioactivity.
Tritium is a weakly radioactive form of hydrogen that can combine with oxygen to form a type of water. It is created in nature when hydrogen reacts with cosmic rays. Its half-life is 12.3 years. In the nuclear reactor, it's found in what's called ``utility water.'' That water is pumped to holding tanks.
A year ago Palisades found a level of 22,000 picocuries per liter of water, 2,000 above the reportable level for drinking water, although none of the monitoring wells is used for drinking water. more