MONTPELIER, Vt. – Technicians at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will begin work Monday morning to fix a pipe that leaked radioactive water and forced the plant to shut down.
The nuclear reactor was taken out of service at 7 p.m. Sunday. Plant spokesman Larry Smith estimated it would take 13 hours to cool down enough for workers to enter the area and make repairs.
Smith said the leak of about 60 drops a minute was spotted earlier Sunday during routine surveillance. It was coming from a 2-foot-wide pipe that was part of the circulation system involving the reactor, he said. The water was being collected by a sump pump and cycled back through the system, he said.
The cause of the leak was not immediately known. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the public was not in any danger.
It was the second shutdown within an hour at a plant owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp.
Entergy’s petition to renew the license may be denied, but Vermont will be left with a vast cleanup job at the site.