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Finding Radioactive Fish in the Connecticut River

David Cassuto

There have been a number of developments on the agriculture front that I want to discuss but that will have to wait until things settle down around here at least a little bit . In the meantime, here´s an interesting tidbit from today´s WaPo. 

Apparently, fish in the Connecticut river, in the New Hampshire/Vermont region, are testing positive for strontium-90 — a very dangerous radioactive isotope (it causes bone cancer and leukemia).  Some believe that the contamination comes from the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which is in the midst of cleaning up its most recent tritium, cesium-137, zinc-65, and cobalt-60 leak.

Others say that it can´t be from Vermont Yankee and is most likely residual buildup from Chernobyl. Or maybe Indian Point.         

Everyone agrees that the levels are not dangerous, though, because they are well within normal baseline levels.  Except for those who don´t agree — those who point out that no one has any idea what a baseline level is or ought to be. 

So there you have it.  Now we know that the fish are radioactive and that radiation is dangerous except when it´s not and that this is one of those times. I feel better. Or maybe I don´t.

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