Friday, April 17, 2009

NJ Nuclear Plant Probes Possible Radiation Release

Apr. 16, 2009

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Operators of a New Jersey nuclear power plant say they are investigating possible release of a low-level radioactive substance this week.

Officials at the Oyster Creek plant in Lacey told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that detectable levels of tritium were found in a cable vault while workers were replacing a cable to an emergency service water pump on Wednesday. They said no release seems to be occurring, but the source of tritium water was not known.

Tritium occurs naturally in the environment at very low levels and may be released as steam from facilities such as nuclear reactors. It also can leak into soil and ground water.

The Lacey facility, which is the nation's oldest nuclear power plant, was granted a new 20-year operating license earlier this month by the NRC.

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