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Radiation and Groundwater

While working with the Exelon Dresden nuclear plant in 2004, where tritium was detected in some on-site wells, Illinois EPA became aware of the potential for tritium contamination in groundwater at this type of facility.  Illinois EPA takes very seriously the contamination of the groundwater of the state by radionuclides from nuclear power generating plants. Illinois EPA proceeded with enforcement action against the facilities responsible for the releases.  To provide information about the groundwater impacts, the Agency established this web page for fact sheets, news releases and other Illinois EPA documents as well as provide links to other sites regarding tritium.

Groundwater is a precious resource of the state of Illinois, and the Illinois EPA is charged with protecting the groundwater and the citizens who rely on it for their source of drinking water. The reporting process that was in place for the nuclear generating station operators to notify the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Illinois Emergency Management Agency were not adequate to keep Illinois EPA informed of such spills and releases that threaten the state’s groundwater resources.  As a result, Public Act 94-0849 was signed on June 11, 2006, which requires nuclear plants to report unpermitted radioactive releases.  The law also required rules to be developed to specify requirements for detecting and reporting unpermitted radioactive releases.  Those rules are specified in 35 Il. Adm. 1010, which became effective May 2, 2008.

Fact Sheets:

News Releases:

External Links:

Unpermitted Radioactive Release Reports: