Small Steam Leak Reported At Vermont Yankee

Apr 30, 2014

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant experienced a small leak of radioactive steam last week. But state and Yankee officials say the leak was contained and the public was not in danger.

Yankee spokesman Rob Williams said the leak was discovered by a worker doing maintenance.

"It was work on a pipe and during that process there was a malfunction of a filter, and that has since been corrected. It was corrected immediately," Williams said. "There was this air sampling monitoring during that the time, and it confirmed that the radioactivity was extremely low."

The steam condensed into water and the water contains radioactive tritium. Bill Irwin, the state’s radiological health chief, said the water was collected in a drum and did not leak into the environment or groundwater.

"But obviously we need to continue to follow what’s happened here to make sure there is no further developments," Irwin said. "But it should be fairly straightforward for them to collect the material and dispose of it properly."

Vermont Yankee's Rob Williams said the radiation released was extremely low, and well within limits set in the plant’s operating license.