U.S. nuke plant containing leaked radioactive water

The leak from the Monticello nuclear plant has not reached ground water and the Mississippi River.

The operator of a nuclear power plant in Minnesota, United States is recovering leaked water contaminated with radioactive tritium.

Xcel Energy said Thursday it has “recovered about 25 percent of the tritium released and will continue recovery over the course of the year,” Agence France-Presse reported.

The company also said it contained the leak by diverting water to an in-plant treatment facility, and will need to build “large storage tanks… to store recovered water until it can be treated and reused,” according to AFP.

None of the contaminated water “reached the Mississippi River or contaminated drinking water sources,” it added.

The company further said the 400,000 gallons of radioactive water leaked at the site in November and but did not say why it delayed publicly announcing the accident.

The company said it notified state officials and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission once it learned of the leak on 22 November.

The leak originated in “a water pipe between two buildings” at the Monticello nuclear plant. Xcel said it detected the spill while doing routine groundwater testing.

“While this leak does not pose a risk to the public or the environment, we take this very seriously and are working to safely address the situation,” Chris Clark, the utility’s president, said in a statement.

The company said it is conducting more frequent tests from some two dozen groundwater monitoring wells in and around the site.


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