Title: Q&A: Illinois nuclear plant loses power. What got vented into the air?
Source: Christian Science Monitor
Date: Jan 31, 2012
[...] During the shutdown, the plant vented steam containing trace amounts of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen. But the release represented no health threat, federal and plant officials told the Associated Press. [...]
Where did the tritium come from?
It’s a byproduct of the nuclear reactions that take place in the plant’s reactors and boron, used in a reactor’s coolant to help control the reactor’s chain reactions. It found its way into the vented steam at Byron because the piping that carried the reactor water through the steam generator has some small leaks, [David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer tracking nuclear-safety issues for the Union of Concerned Scientists] says. [...]
Read the report here
Published: January 31st, 2012 at 5:23 pm ET
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