1.5 Million liters of Radioactive Water leaked from a Nuclear Plant in Minnesota

World | March 17, 2023, Friday // 16:46
Bulgaria: 1.5 Million liters of Radioactive Water leaked from a Nuclear Plant in Minnesota Monticello plant @Wikimedia Commons

1.5 million liters of radioactive water leaked from a nuclear power plant in the state of Minnesota, USA. Officials are monitoring the cleanup and assure there is no immediate risk to public health, writes the BBC.

The utility company Xcel Energy, which operates the plant, said the spill was "completely contained on site" and that radioactive water had not leaked outside the facility.

The leak was discovered back in November, but was hidden for nearly 4 months. The public only learned about him on Thursday, March 16.

The water contains tritium, a common byproduct of nuclear power plant operation.

A naturally occurring radioactive isotope of hydrogen, tritium emits a weak form of beta radiation that cannot penetrate human skin, according to the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

There are occasional tritium spills at nuclear plants, but they are usually contained to a site and rarely affect public health or safety, the NRC says.

As early as November 21, 2022, Xcel discovered a pipe leak between two buildings at the Monticello plant. It is located about 56 km from the state's most populous city, Minneapolis.

The company said it notified the state and the NRC the next day.

"Xcel Energy took swift action to contain the spill to the plant site, which did not pose a risk to the health and safety of the local community or the environment," the Minnesota-based utility company said in a statement on Thursday.

Government officials say they were waiting to get more information before disclosing the leak.

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

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