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Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant Is Kind of Leaking

Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant Is Kind of Leaking
sylvar via Flickr

If you made a list of places you'd like to not have a leak, the largest nuclear power plant in the United States is probably at the top of the list.

Well, that plant, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station west of Phoenix, kind of has a leak.

Radioactive water is leaking inside one of the reactors, but the good news is that the space it leaked into is still contained, so we don't have to pack up and leave town to avoid getting burned to a crisp in a nuclear holocaust.

According to the Associated Press, officials say there's no public health threat at all. Even more, the Arizona Republic says that none of the plant's workers are threatened by the leak, either.

The leak sounds as though it's extremely small. From the Republic:

Officials were unsure how much water leaked out, because it would have immediately flashed to steam upon leaking. But they said that instruments constantly measure the humidity in the area, and those monitors did not detect an uptick in moisture in the air during the unit's most recent run, nor did their monitors detect a drop in the amount of water in the vessel. They suspect the leak was less than 1/100th of a gallon per minute.

This apparently minuscule leak could cost up to $15 million to repair, according to the report.

Coincidentally, the Associated Press got a hold of an unreleased Government Accountability Office report, listing the number of safety violations at the nuclear-power facilities across the country.

It reported that Palo Verde had the second-most total violations, with 299 "lower-level" violations, and five "higher-level" violations.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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