Another Leak Reported At Yankee; NRC Says Problem Is A Minor One

10/20/10 5:04PM By John Dillon

(Host) Vermont Yankee has developed another leak, this time in a system used to cool the plant in the event of an emergency.

But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission describes the problem as minor. NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan says a weld in pipes that drain the high pressure coolant system is leaking small puffs of steam.

Sheehan says the small amount of radioactivity entering the plant will be captured and cleaned up on site.

(Sheehan) "We're talking about relatively mild levels of radioactivity coming out of here. This is a system connected to the reactor obviously but any radioactive liquid flowing out of here would be at low levels."

(Host) Larry Smith is a spokesman for Entergy Vermont Yankee. He says the leak poses no risk to safety or public health.

(Smith) "Our maintenance department put a maintenance patch on this drain line to make temporary repairs and we have permanent repairs that will be made sometime in the future. But the high pressure injection coolant system is operable. We have no issues whatsoever with the operation of the system and we're considering this routine maintenance that our maintenance department would perform at a nuclear plant on a day to day basis."

(Host) The NRC said Yankee technicians discovered the leak on September 24th. Yankee then notified the state and federal regulators about the issue.

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