Leak Shuts Down Vermont Yankee

11/08/10 11:00AM By John Dillon

(Host) Technicians at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant are working to fix a leaking pipe that forced the plant to shut down.

Yankee spokesman Larry Smith said the leak was discovered Sunday but technicians needed to wait until the plant systems cooled down before they could examine the pipe.

(Smith) "They'll assess the repair options and whether this will be a repair in place or a section of the pipe that may have to be replaced. So we'll know better later today on the repair schedule."

(Host) The leak is in a two-foot diameter pipe that carries water back to the reactor. The pipe is leaking about 60 drops per minute. The water is slightly radioactive, but Smith said the liquid will be treated on site.

(Smith) "No threat to public health or safety or our workers whatsoever. It's a closed environment, just something that obviously we have to fix."

(Host) The outage at Vermont Yankee was the first unplanned shutdown at the plant since May. That's when Yankee was forced offline because a problem occurred in the switchyard where the plant connects to the regional transmission grid.

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