Unusual Event Declared At Oyster Creek
FORKED RIVER, N.J. (AP) _ Operators detected a minor leak of slightly radioactive gases inside the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, and about a dozen employees received minimal contamination, officials say.
Small amounts of gas were released into the environment Tuesday, but levels remained below allowable federal limits, said Karl Neddenien, a spokesman for GPU Nuclear Corp., which operates Oyster Creek.
The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission was notified of the ″unusual event,″ the lowest of the four levels of emergency classifications used by the nuclear industry, said Karl Abraham, a spokesman for the NRC.
The contaminated employees returned to work after changing clothes, and three who suffered minor skin contamination washed with soap and water, Neddenien said.
On-site and off-site radiation monitoring equipment was activated as a precaution after the leak was reported at 6:10 a.m., Neddenien said. Equipment outside the plant site detected no increase in radioactivity above normal background levels, he said.
Plant operators believed the leak was in the feed pump room, located in the basement of the plant’s turbine room, but had not determined which pipe or valve it was, Neddenien said.
Oyster Creek is owned by Jersey Central Power & Light Co. The 650-megawatt plant was operating at nearly full power at the time of the leak, Neddenien said, but power was reduced to 75 percent while operators searched for the leak.
The last unusual event reported at the plant was two weeks ago, Neddenien said, when slightly radioactive water was found leaking from a drain valve in the condensate storage tank.