Radiation Spike Follows Nuclear Reactor Leak

Iowa City Owl
According to Reuters, a nuclear reactor in Michigan was shut down on Tuesday due to a leakage from a refueling water tank, according to a report from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which the Reuters story did not provide a link to.

A nuclear power plant's refueling water tank contains water that is used to cool down the reactor while the reactor is shut down for refueling. It is also used to remove heat from the reactor's core whenever excess coolant is lost.

This contact with the reactor makes the water highly radioactive.

The Owl reported a few days ago that several internet forum users were worried about a possible spike in radiation readings at several radiation monitoring stations. Those concerns were dismissed by some as mistaken readings from uncalibrated counters.

Nuclear Plant in Michigan
The owner of "MineraLab," said the readings were apparently caused by an equipment malfunction. A report said the EPA and NRC reported normal readings.

It was not reported how long the tank was leaking for, but the company told the US Government that the tank was likely leaving from multiple locations.

The NRC's report, according to the Reuters artciel, said the event had no impact on public health or safety.

A previous report said that a different plant, the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio run by FirstEnergy Corp, was also shut down recently due to what was described as a "pinhole-size" leak.

The Michigan plant first entered commercial service in 1971, and its nuclear license is not set to expire until 2031. It cost $149 million to build, and was purchased by new owners for $380 million in 2007.
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