Leaks found in 2 pipes at NJ nuclear plant

The Associated Press

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Officials say there's no danger to the public even though radioactive tritium has contaminated four monitoring wells at the nation's oldest nuclear power plant.

The Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in southern New Jersey has been shut down since Saturday because of a failed transformer.

Tritium is a naturally occurring, radioactive form of hydrogen that is produced when cosmic rays collide with air molecules.

One well had a tritium reading of about 6 million picocuries per liter. The federal limit for tritium in drinking water is 20,000 picocuries per liter. A picocurie is a measure of radioactivity.

A plant spokesman says it was found leaking from holes in two pipes. The pipes have been repaired and workers will conduct more inspections.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this month renewed Oyster Creek's license for another 20 years.

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