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Clean-up of radioactive water leak ongoing at Minnesota nuclear plant

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  • Clean-up of radioactive water leak ongoing at Minnesota nuclear plant

    54 minutes ago

    By Sam Cabral
    BBC News, Washington

    Officials are monitoring the clean-up of a leak of 400,000 gallons (1.5m litres) of radioactive water from a local nuclear power plant in Minnesota.

    Xcel Energy, the utility company that runs the plant, said the spillage was "fully contained on-site and has not been detected beyond the facility".

    State officials said there was no immediate public health risk.

    The leak was first discovered in late November, but state officials did not notify the public until Thursday.

    The water contains tritium, a common by-product of nuclear plant operations.

    A naturally occurring radioactive isotope of hydrogen, tritium emits a weak form of beta radiation that does not travel very far in air and cannot penetrate human skin, according to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

    Tritium spills occur at nuclear plants on occasion, but are typically contained on-site and rarely affect public health or safety, the NRC says.

    Xcel first discovered the leak on 21 November, from a pipe between two buildings at its Monticello plant. The plant is about 35 miles (56km) from the state's most populous city, Minneapolis, upstream along the Mississippi River.

    ... The Minnesota Department of Health has said the leak did not reach the Mississippi River.

    A local nuclear plant is recovering 400,000 gallons of contaminated water that spilled in November.

  • #2
    Radioactive water leaks at Minn. nuclear plant for 2nd time

    By The Associated Press
    Updated: March 24, 2023 - 3:40 AM
    Published: March 23, 2023 - 10:28 PM

    MONTICELLO, Minn. (AP) — Water containing a radioactive material has leaked for a second time from a nuclear plant near Minneapolis and the plant will be shut down, but there is no danger to the public, the plant’s owner said Thursday.

    A leak of what was believed to be hundreds of gallons of water containing tritium was discovered this week from a temporary fix at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, where 400,000 gallons (1.5 million liters) of water with tritium leaked in November, Xcel Energy said in a statement Thursday.

    The plant about 38 miles (61 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis is scheduled to power down Friday so permanent repairs can begin, the company said.

    ... The new leak, announced a day after Xcel Energy says it was discovered, was found to be coming from a temporary fix to the original leak, the company said in a statement. This time, the leak is anticipated to be in the hundreds of gallons.


    • Mary Wilson
      Mary Wilson commented
      Editing a comment
      What? Temporary fixes at nuclear power plants? This one's temporary fix was done 4 months ago. When do permanent fixes occur at nuke plants?

    • Mary Wilson
      Mary Wilson commented
      Editing a comment
      Working Link for Above Article:

      Radioactive water leaks at Minn. nuclear plant for 2nd time
      March 23, 2023
      AP NEWS

  • #3
    More radioactive water spilled at Monticello nuclear plant, Xcel says

    May 24, 2023 2:52 PM
    Kirsti Marohn

    Xcel Energy reported another, smaller, spill of radioactive water last weekend at its Monticello, Minn. nuclear plant, about 40 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

    Crews have been pumping and storing water from the ground at the plant since a faulty pipe caused a leak of about 400,000 gallons of water contaminated with tritium in November. Xcel temporarily shut down the plant and repaired the leak in March.

    On Monday, the company notified the Minnesota state duty officer that 300 to 600 gallons of pumped groundwater had overflowed a holding tank and returned to the ground. Xcel spokesperson Kevin Coss said the water — about an hour’s worth of pumping — will be recollected. ...

    Coss also said the concentration of tritium in the groundwater has declined. The highest measurement, directly under the plant near the leak, was about 5 million picocuries per liter. That’s dropped to below 1.5 million picocuries per liter, he said.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers 20,000 picocuries per liter to be safe for drinking water. ...

    The company said it’s made “substantial” progress on pumping the contaminated water, and more than half of the tritium released last November has been recovered.


    • Mary Wilson
      Mary Wilson commented
      Editing a comment
      Minneapolis - St. Paul (Twin Cities) 4,085,415 Population [2022]