The authorities in the northern US state of Minnesota revealed on Thursday that a nuclear power plant near Minneapolis had suffered a radioactive water spill amounting to over 1.5 million liters. Xcel Energy, which owns the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, is working to clean up the spill and insists there is no danger to the general public.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) said that around 400,000 gallons of tritiated water leaked from a broken pipe at the facility. The leak was first discovered on November 22, and its source was found on December 19 and patched “soon after.”
The authorities decided to keep the public in the dark about the incident, while Xcel Energy and the state were “actively managing” the situation to prevent the underground plume of irradiated water from spreading to the nearby Mississippi River, MPCA assistant commissioner Kirk Koudelka told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“Now that we have all the information about where the leak occurred, how much was released into groundwater, and that contaminated groundwater had moved beyond the original location, we are sharing this information,” MPCA spokesman Michael Rafferty added on Thursday.