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FirstEnergy reports water leak with radioactive material at Perry Nuclear Plant; no danger to public, utility says

By Betty Lin-Fisher
Beacon Journal business writer

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Workers at FirstEnergy Corp.’s Perry Nuclear Plant are fixing a water leak that company officials say contains radioactive materials, but none has entered the public waterways.

The leak was identified Monday afternoon and was reported early Tuesday morning to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which was closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, said spokesman Todd Schneider for Akron-based FirstEnergy.

Schneider said the leak has been contained on site.

“It was in a pipeline, and engineers are currently installing a clamp to stop the steam leak,” Schneider said.

The leak was detected on one of the plant’s monitoring systems directly outside the building.

No additional ground-monitoring wells around the site have detected traces of tritium, he said.

“There is no impact to the public health and safety,” he said. “We are making repairs to stop the leak and we will continue to monitor the wells around the plant to make sure the leak has not traveled off site.”

According to the notification sent to the NRC, the samples taken of the tritium indicated the levels were more than twice the EPA limits for groundwater.

Schneider said even though the levels are twice the limits “it’s still not harmful.”

NRC spokeswoman Prema Chandrathil said the NRC resident inspectors on site at Perry have been notified of the leak and are monitoring the plant’s actions going forward. The levels involved in the leak do not reach NRC safety limits and no additional NRC staff is being called to the site at this time, she said.

Schneider said the plant is operational.

Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blinfisher and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty


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