The radioactive water leak was confirmed on November 22, 2022. But only today the company Xcel Energy announces that it has "detected and treated" the leak of contaminated liquid at a nuclear power plant in the north of the United States, stressing that there was "no risk" to the inhabitants and the environment.
The leak, according to the company, involves water contaminated with tritium - a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It would be 400 thousand gallons, more than a million and a half liters. But it would remain confined to the site of the atomic plant, which is located in Monticello, near Minneapolis, in the US state of Minnesota. The contaminated water "has not been detected outside the facilities or in local drinking water," Xcel Energy writes in a statement, and the situation "does not pose a risk to the safety and health of the local population or to the environment." "The leak was stopped and did not reach the Mississippi River or contaminated drinking water sources." An official from Xcel Energy adds that the company continues to "collect and treat potentially affected water, monitoring nearby groundwater sources." Xcel Energy estimates that it has so far recovered about 25% of the released tritium. The leak "came from a pipe that ran between two buildings."
Local officials are "monitoring Xcel Energy's efforts to clean up" the water release, says the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the public body responsible for controlling environmental pollution situations: "We knew about the presence of tritium in a monitoring well, but the company had not yet identified the source of the leak - now that we know how much contaminated water has spread into the environment we can make this information public".
When asked why she didn't share the information sooner, the company said there was "no immediate threat to health and safety." Already in 2009 a small loss of tritium was reported from the same plant.
In these same days, Japan is preparing to pour into the sea a huge amount of radioactive water, the one used to cool the reactors of the Fukushima plant that melted 12 years ago as a result of a strong earthquake.