US Nuclear Plant Reveals Facility Spilled 400,000 Gallons of Radioactive Water

The Gopher State is home to two nuclear plants, and is no stranger to spills of the radioactive variety; in fact, its Monticello plant previously reported leaks in 1981 and 2009.

State regulators in Minnesota revealed on Thursday that officials are monitoring the ongoing cleanup effort of some 400,000 gallons of radioactive water spilt at the Monticello nuclear power plant.

Local officials indicated the leak “poses no health and safety risk to the local community or environment,” and that it has not reached the Mississippi River nor any drinking water sources.

The Minnesota plant sits some 35 miles upstream from the river, which provides 23% of the nation’s drinking water.

The plant, which is managed by the Xcel Energy utility company, initially reported the massive spill to state and federal officials in late November 2022.

It’s reported the agency only came forward now because authorities wanted to first gain additional knowledge on the situation before informing the public.

“We knew there was a presence of tritium in one monitoring well, however Xcel had not yet identified the source of the leak and its location,” Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Michael Rafferty said in a statement to US media.

“Now that we have all the information about where the leak occurred, how much was released into groundwater, and that contaminated groundwater had moved beyond the original location, we are sharing this information.”

The naturally-occurring radioactive substance Tritium is considered a relatively weak source of beta radiation, but still poses health risks if inhaled in large quantities.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Tritium does not travel far and cannot penetrate the skin.

A release issued by the Minnesota Department of Health states officials have managed to recover some 20% of the contamination through extraction wells, with tainted water being regularly pumped from groundwater.

Xcel is reportedly considering building above-ground storage tanks in order to contain any polluted water that officials manage to recover from the scene; however, said initiative could take more than a year as the project must first be cleared by state regulators.



By Sputnik International

Published by Sputnik News



Republished by The 21st Century

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