Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station

The Vermont Department of Health Radiological Health Program evaluates and manages the actual and potential public health impacts on Vermonters due to operations at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, located in the town of Vernon, Windham County.

Investigation into Tritium Contamination

On January 7, 2010, the Department of Health was notified by Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station that samples taken from a groundwater monitoring well on site at the plant contained tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen.

Environmental Surveillance

Regular sampling is done around the power station to test for radioactive contamination. Samples are taken from:

In addition, local farms provide milk samples every month for testing, to verify there are no radiological contaminants in the milk.

Analysis of samples is done at the Health Department laboratory.

The Department of Health continuously measures the radiation dose around Vermont Yankee, both at the site boundary as well as locations throughout Windham County.

Environmental surveillance has been in effect since before Vermont Yankee began commercial operation in 1973. The Health Department publishes an annual report of its surveillance findings.

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Emergency Preparedness

The Department of Health partners with the following agencies and departments to help ensure Vermonters are provided adequate warning and emergency response in the event of a radiological release at Vermont Yankee:

Health Department staff train emergency responders throughout the state in the essential skills required in emergency events, and to staff critical positions in local and state emergency operations centers.

In addition to meeting classroom and field training requirements, Health Department staff participate in annual drills to test their ability to use learned skills. Vermont's Radiological Emergency Response Plan is evaluated annually by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure it meets standards for effective response.

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Monitoring Reports

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Contact information

For more information about the Radiological Health Program contact:

William E. Irwin, Sc.D., CHP
Radiological Health Chief
Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry Street
Burlington, VT 05402
Phone: 802-863-7238
Fax: 802-865-7745

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