The leak of radioactive water has been confirmed on November 22, 2022. But only today the company Xcel energy announces that it “discovered and dealt with” the leak of contaminated liquid at a nuclear power plant in the northern United States, stressing that there was “no risk” to residents and the environment.
The loss affects according to the company Tritium contaminated water – a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. That would be 400,000 gallons more than one and a half million liters. However, it would have been limited to the site of the nuclear power plant, which is located in Monticello near Minneapolis in the US state of Minnesota. The contaminated water “was not detected outside of the facilities or in local drinking water,” Xcel Energy writes in a statement, and the situation “poses no risk to the safety and health of local people or to the environment.” “The leak has been stopped and has not reached the Mississippi River or contaminated drinking water sources.” An Xcel Energy official adds that the company continues to “collect and treat potentially affected water while monitoring nearby groundwater sources.” Xcel Energy estimates that to date it has recovered approximately 25% of the released tritium. The leak “came from a pipe that ran between two buildings”.
Local officials “are monitoring Xcel Energy’s efforts to eliminate the water release,” according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the public agency responsible for controlling pollution situations: “We knew about tritium in a well monitoring system, but this Company had not yet identified the source of the leak – now that we know how much contaminated water was released into the environment we can release this information.”
When asked why it didn’t share the information sooner, the company said there was no “imminent health and safety threat.” A small loss of tritium from the same facility was reported as early as 2009.
These days, Japan is preparing to dump into the sea an enormous amount of radioactive water used to cool the reactors of the Fukushima power plant, which melted 12 years ago as a result of a powerful earthquake.