September 7, 2007
BUCHANAN – Workers have discovered a pinhole-sized leak in a conduit used to transfer spent fuel from the reactor to the containment pool at Indian Point 2.
The leak was found Wednesday during testing for groundwater contamination from leaks of radioactive tritium and strontium 90 that were first discovered in 2005.
“It appears that there is a potential pinhole leak in the fuel transfer canal, which we believe could be a contributing source to the groundwater contamination that we’ve been talking about,” said Jim Steets, a spokesman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, the plant’s owner.
A vacuum test like the one that turned up the leak, as well as an ultrasonic test, will be performed to confirm the size and scope of the leak, Steets said. That will take a few more days. Repairs would follow, but would not require a reactor shutdown.
Plant officials say the leak has not contributed significantly to the groundwater contamination. The origin of the leak remains unclear.
“We’ll know better about what might have caused it when we complete the testing that we’re doing,” Steets said. “You hate to speculate.”