Tritium is one of hundreds of chemicals in nuclear reactors that are non-existent or found in tiny amounts in nature. Each is toxic and causes cancer, birth defects, and other diseases. So why the big fuss over tritium?
* Tritium remains in the body for up to 10 years before decaying and disappearing. Many of the other chemicals produced by nuclear reactors are gone much faster.
* Tritium is also an especially toxic form of radiation. A 1991 study by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory found it to be 1.5 to 5 times more damaging to the body than X-rays.
* Tritium is also relatively easy to measure in water, easier than the other chemicals that accompany it, including Strontium-90, Cesium-137, Iodine-131, and Plutonium-239.
Tritium and its radioactive buddies are the same mix of toxic chemicals from atom bomb explosions above the ground in the 1950s and 1960s. The same cocktail that poured out of melted-down reactors like Chernobyl and Fukushima. High tritium levels near nuclear plants mean high levels of many other forms of radioactive poison.
via Counter Punch; Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg