Small Leak Forces Shutdown of Massachusetts Nuclear Power Plant

December 29, 2011

The Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth, Mass., has been shut down after what officials said was a small leak of radioactive steam in a safety relief valve.

Rob Williams, a spokesman for the plant’s owner, Entergy Corp., says the leak discovered on Monday was contained within the plant’s piping and was never a threat to workers or the general public.

Williams says the incident required the reactor to be shut down and cooled within 24 hours. He says the shutdown was completed at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

There was no word on when repairs would be completed but Williams said he did not anticipate an extended shutdown.

In November, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Pilgrim was subject to additional federal oversight related to an emergency shutdown of the plant last spring.

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