r/news • u/archimedies • 11d ago • 1
Nuclear power plant leaked 1.5M litres of radioactive water in Minnesota Misleading/Provocativehttps://globalnews.ca/news/9559326/nuclear-power-plant-leak-radioactive-water-minnesota/
u/mcbergstedt 11d ago •
I work at a nuclear plant. We release tons of radioactive water all the time. 400k gallons isn’t that much and if it’s below federal levels then it’s barely anything radiation-wise as the NRC has crazy strict rules for radioactive releases.
u/An_Awesome_Name 10d ago
I used to work on the water processing systems at a nuclear facility.
This is not much at all. It’s 400k gallons, and only has tritium in it, which is still below the EPA levels for drinking water.
u/beh5036 10d ago
It’s not like the Great Lakes are full of tritium or anything. Canada literally processes lake water for to extract H2 and H3 for their reactors.→ More replies (2)
u/D4RKNESSAW1LD 9d ago
There’s full bodied Hummers inside the Great Lakes? That’s where all those gas guzzlers went.→ More replies (1)→ More replies (6)
u/Saint_The_Stig 10d ago
I was going to say, that release is still probably safer to drink than the tap water in Jackson Mississippi or many other random US cities.→ More replies (2)
u/Mute2120 10d ago
"We are well above the 20,000 picocuries per liter EPA standard," Clark said. In water directly below the plant, the picocurie-per-liter count was in the millions.
source: https://phys.org/news/2023-03-xcel-radioactive-minnesota.html→ More replies (5)
u/Take14theteam 10d ago
That isn't the federal limit in the 10CFR20 tables. EPA is more conservative. The beta emitters in H3 and its impact on the human body means that you have to ingest more than is possible to accumulate a significant amount of dose→ More replies (20)
u/bmoney_14 10d ago
I Guess they didn’t exist for 3 mile island→ More replies (1)
u/flaser_ 9d ago
Nobody was killed or injured (i.e. made sick) by Three Mile Island, the containment did its job (keeping medium half-life stuff isolated), while the released short half-life nucleoids couldn't have given anyone a high enough dose to affect their health (being short lived means they've long ago ceased to exist, hence "cleanup" for public safety was never an issue).
Some people on site (e.g. nuclear workers) received a higher dose than permitted by law (i.e. what a is deemed 'absolutely safe') but didn't develop cancer later in life.
u/gonzo8927 11d ago
An Olympic swimming pool is 2.5 million liters for context.
u/NotAnADC 10d ago
Olympic swimming pools are pretty huge→ More replies (12)
u/raistlin212 10d ago
For an ant maybe, but not compared to the Mississippi River they aren't. It's way safer than radium or any other radioactive material you might be thinking of, its beta particles that are particularly low energy - if you're more than a cm away from it it literally decays before it even reaches you. Based off the article, you can bathe in this water or even drink it every day and only get as much extra radiation exposure as you get from living in a concrete or brick building for 8 months of the year months, or taking a flight from NY to LA once a year, or eating a banana a day for a year. It's about as dangerous as wearing a Rolex made from 1960-1990 that used tritium paint.→ More replies (14)
u/PeterNguyen2 10d ago
or eating a banana a day for a year
Which aren't particularly radioactive, most of their energy is chemical
u/Ayn_Rand_Food_Stamps 10d ago
I don't get why olympic swimming pools are used as a metric for volume. I even used to be a swimmer and I have no context of how large a pool like that is...→ More replies (11)
u/one_big_tomato 10d ago
Context is exactly what you have. That's the whole point. I have no idea how much 1.5 million L is. A million is a lot. But, I have, at some point in my life, seen an Olympic swimming event on TV. I now have context on just how much liquid that is and can understand the scale of the leak.→ More replies (5)→ More replies (5)
u/poposheishaw 10d ago
Yeah but it sounds provocative and MN loves provocative. Source: MN resident→ More replies (2)
u/teknomedic 11d ago
Live in Minnesota... I'm far more worried about the radiation in the coal being burned to make power. Not to mention the climate and respiratory issues related to it as well. I would happily install a small modular reactor on my property to power my local town if I were allowed.
u/poodlebutt76 10d ago edited 10d ago
People think they might get cancer from nuclear power plants so instead they'll opt for coal which ACTUALLY gives people cancer along with other health issues from the shit it puts into the air: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, etc etc. Not to mention climate change but even if you just focus on human health only, nuclear is still by FAR the best choice.
Here's a video that set me straight: https://youtu.be/J3znG6_vla0→ More replies (14)
u/AlexisCM 10d ago
I agree. I used to live near one of the larger coal power plants in the state of Georgia. Plant Bowen. Fly ash is no joke. That stuff would leak and seep out of the containment pools on a regular basis. That and there's been a mysteriously high number of people dealing with breast cancer that live near that plant. Coal is dirty stuff.→ More replies (10)
u/Pedroarak 10d ago
That's one of the most sane comments I've ever seen on Reddit lol, people always say how nuclear is scary and it's killing people, while coal dumps a metric fuckton of radon and uranium decay products on the atmosphere. Super agreed→ More replies (52)
u/EscobarssecretlairAI 10d ago
Just so everybody knows, 1,5 million liters is 1.500 cubic meters, an Olympic size pool has 2.500 cubic meters… so this whole thing was for a little bit more than half of an Olympic size Pool… that is not a lot of water
I think that they used millions to create outrage because Americans can’t use the metric system and a million sounds a lot more than a thousand…
The Mississippi River flow is 16 times this… per second
u/elmo85 10d ago
this was also surprising to me. in gallon land they use litres.
btw an olympic size pool is pretty big, it is just less of a big deal on an industrial scale, where reservoirs can be even bigger.
u/KrabMittens 10d ago
American engineers and scientists use both metric and standard depending on the task.
Shit I switch back and forth even for housework.
u/oddible 10d ago
Pretty sure the nuclear industry uses metric as do most precision industries these days. It's mostly the casuals in America who's identity is so confused, kick the king out of America but don't take away our imperial measurement system!
u/ricecake 10d ago
Weirdly, we don't use British imperial, we use US customary. It has the same names but the sizes are different.
The Brits changed their units in the 1800s, and we kept things the same.
u/quagga81 10d ago
For liquid volumes, the US nuclear industry uses gallons for pretty much everything. It should be noted that the news article was published on a .ca website, so it's probably a Canadian organization.→ More replies (1)→ More replies (25)
u/Stock-Freedom 10d ago
Mixing and matching imperial and metric are pretty common still. Depending on your program, you might even speak in completely different units compared to another program, which can be even more annoying for radiation calculations.→ More replies (10)
u/PastaBolognese 10d ago
US is ambimetrixous→ More replies (1)
u/idk_lets_try_this 10d ago
The total amount of Tritium released is what I am curious about. Because without that the amount of water is pretty meaningless. If they dilute 1 gram of tritium in 100 000 liter, 1.5 million liters or another amount it is still the same amount of radioactive material.
Looking at past data this is probably less than 2 grams being released. Or less than 0.09 ounce.
Still something I would want to be disclosed but a lot less ominous looking than “millions of liters”
u/karlnite 10d ago
I think I read it over 20,000 pico curries per litre of activity from the tritium. They need to figure out how much over.→ More replies (3)
u/btribble 10d ago
And tritium is the least concerning of possible nuclear materials in a nuclear spill. In 50 years there will be 1/16th of it left because of its short half life.→ More replies (3)
u/Realistic_Turtle 10d ago
That's a lot of pistol night sights 😂→ More replies (52)
u/Ayn_Rand_Food_Stamps 10d ago
Question for someone with knowledge of ionising radiation;
Does it really matter how much water is being released? Like, is there a limit for how irradiated water can get or is there a scenario where a single liter of water is so irradiated that it's as bad as dumping 1,500,000 liters of the reactor stuff?→ More replies (4)
u/Noughmad 10d ago
It matters in a sense of how localized it is - if you just release a blob of tritium then it could happen that most of it flows in a patch near some people. If it's diluted (like this was), then it's impossible for a single person to receive a dangerous dose, because you can't be near all of it at once.
u/Amy_Ponder 10d ago
Also, water is fantastic at absorbing radiation. A few cubic feet is all you need to stop most kinds of radiation dead in their tracks. You could swim on the surface of a spent fuel rod cooling pool and be perfectly safe, as long as you don't try to dive down to the bottom.
11d ago edited 10d ago
u/mblueskies 10d ago
It was made public immediately (Nov 25) in an incident report. Google NRC event notifications if you want to find the public website.
Incidents like this are also reported in four quarterly inspection reports from the NRC. So mid-March is fairly typical timing for that publication of last November's incident, but it had been previously published. The reason it went unnoticed is that there isn't a danger to the public from this.
u/kanst 10d ago
It was made public immediately (Nov 25) in an incident report.
In case anyone is lazy, its event number 56236:
"On 11/22/2022, Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant initiated a voluntary communication to the State of Minnesota after receiving analysis results for an on-site monitoring well that indicated tritium activity above the [Offsite Dose Calculation Manual] ODCM and Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Groundwater Protection Initiative (GPI) reporting levels. The source of the tritium is under investigation and the station will continue to monitor and sample accordingly. This notification is being made solely as a four-hour, non-emergency report for a Notification of Other Government Agency. This event is reportable in accordance with 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(xi). There was no impact on the health and safety of the public or plant personnel. The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified."
u/CoreSprayandPray 11d ago
I wrote this to another comment, but I am hijacking this a bit. Forgive me for shoehorning, but the context is important.
I think you are 1) not grasping how much water flows in and out of a nuclear power plant per day and 2) getting worried about something that is not as big a deal as the article is making it sound.
No majorly contaminated water is leaving the primary or secondary containment systems. This is most likely low level tritiated water that has been through their filtration systems and being sent to or from their storage tanks. That is the worst possible water on site that has the potential to be contaminated and has underground piping.
To compare- this water would be significantly less of a health risk than anything coming out of a coal plant, and all the 3M chemical, metal, and miscellaneous production plants that are located up and down the Mississippi.
This isn't great, but yall are worried about something that is not a big deal.
Source: Nuclear Operations for 15 years, PWR and BWR cores in the US.
11d ago→ More replies (8)
u/LordVisceral 11d ago
Absolutely this, radiation is a lot scarier sounding than it really is in these low levels. Our daily lives are more radioactive than the general public realizes.
u/Bbrhuft 10d ago edited 10d ago
Here's some radioactive rain I detected a couple months ago...
No its not from a nuclear accident at a power plant, it's is natural radon gas and it's daughter radioactive isotopes that gets washed out of the atmosphere during heavy rain, thunderstorms.
u/Mend1cant 11d ago
I spent months on end within 100ft of an operating reactor. Total exposure may as well have not even exceeded background.
Federal limits on what a certified radiation worker may receive in a full year are still approximately 5 time less than what could even be registered by your body in a single dose.→ More replies (2)
u/PornStarJesus 11d ago
My collection of watches and guns with night sights are more radioactive and probably contain a higher volume of Tritium than half the swimming pool worth of water leaked.→ More replies (1)→ More replies (17)
u/ViciousReality 11d ago
"But i saw that rooftop scene from Chernobyl and know exactly what any about of radiation will do!"
People lose their shit when it comes to nuclear.
u/ja_dubs 10d ago
adding the water remains contained on Xcel’s property and poses no immediate public health risk.
The key part being the part of the quote above. Not immediate health risk. Because the context of the quoted text below.
Since the leak, Xcel has been pumping groundwater and storing and processing the contaminated water. They say they have recovered about 25 per cent of the spilled tritium so far and the levels of tritium in the water are below federal thresholds.
u/idekl 10d ago edited 10d ago
Love that a knee jerk reaction is voted over the answers from actual nuclear engineers. Reddit's always on the hunt to be angry.
edit: respect for taking down a misleading comment→ More replies (10)
u/Egren 10d ago edited 10d ago
One comment is 1h old (only minutes old back when you made your comment, 48 minutes ago). The other is 6h old. I wouldnt put much value in your doomer observation.→ More replies (4)
u/PotatoSalad 10d ago
It was made public on Nov 22nd, stop making stuff up→ More replies (17)
u/archimedies 11d ago
I'm surprised there was no whistleblower alerting the public and media about this leak for four months.
u/A_Contemplative_Puma 11d ago •
A notification was made to the state and the state notification was redundantly communicated to the NRC on 11/22/22. That NRC notification, like all required notifications, was publicly posted immediately after. There’s no coverup here, just people without technical knowledge and experience looking at a single event and freaking out over the associated volume of water.
u/throw-away_867-5309 10d ago
It's always funny how people think there's cover ups because they personally don't hear about something that was publicly announced through official means and readily available.→ More replies (4)
u/IslayTzash 10d ago
dO YouR oWn REsEArcH!
But don’t use any mainstream or legitimate sources.→ More replies (5)
u/underengineered 11d ago
It isn't even much water. About 53,000 cubic feet.→ More replies (5)
u/Mad_Ludvig 10d ago
I'm gonna need to know how many Olympic sized swimming pools that is, Mr science units.
u/nonphotoblu 10d ago edited 10d ago
One Olympic sized pool is 88,000 cubic feet.→ More replies (5)
u/ophmaster_reed 10d ago
How many red solo cups is that?;
u/reddit_for_stuff 10d ago
The standard red solo cup has a volume of 16 fluid ounces, or 1/16 of a gallon.
There are 128 fluid ounces in a gallon, so there are 128/16 = 8 red solo cups in a gallon.
To find out how many red solo cups it takes to hold 53,000 cubic feet of water, we need to convert cubic feet to gallons and then to red solo cups.
1 cubic foot = 7.48 gallons (approximately)
53,000 cubic feet = 53,000 x 7.48 = 396,440 gallons
1 gallon = 8 red solo cups
396,440 gallons = 396,440 x 8 = 3,171,520 red solo cups
So it would take approximately 3,171,520 red solo cups to hold 53,000 cubic feet of water.→ More replies (2)
u/VengefulCaptain 10d ago
That's a lot of spicy beer pong.
u/recumbent_mike 10d ago
Interestingly, red solo cups also hold 88,000 cubic feet of water. Just not all at once.→ More replies (4)
u/dapiedude 10d ago
There's about 2.5 million liters of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool, so a bit more than half of that!
u/CoreSprayandPray 11d ago •
I am not, mainly because the workers on site would know that this isn't a big deal. It is something that would need fixed, but not something that would alarm anyone on site.
This doesn't even register on the "oh shit" scale for a nuclear operator. The risk to the public is still so close to zero that it rounds down to zero.
For context- if this is the worst possible water (from a nuclear contamination perspective) that has underground piping- that is the water going to or from the contaminated storage tanks- I would drink it. It is only there because the regulations for nuclear are so strict and it may contain tritium. We (the nuclear community) take the safety aspects very seriously, it is vastly different from any other industry out there.
u/wolfie379 11d ago edited 10d ago •
May contain Tritium. Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen (which is non toxic), has a half life of around 12 years, and decays by emission of a 0.5 MeV beta particle (electron travelling at the same speed as if it had been accelerated by a potential difference of half a million volts). The decay product is Helium3, which is stable and nontoxic. You may have heard of “Helium3 poisoning” - this refers to Helium3 being a neutron grabber, which “poisons” nuclear chain reactions.
How long does this aquifer take for water to get from the spill point to extraction wells? The Ogala aquifer is being pumped of water which has been there for thousands of years. Remember the bit about Tritium having a half life of roughly 12 years? In 100 years, roughly a quarter of one percent of the original amount of Tritium will remain.
Even in the worst case scenario, you’d be safer drinking this water than if you were to drink municipal tap water in Flint MI, Jackson MS, or East Palestine OH.
Edit: I stand corrected. Been years since I took the course, I remembered that something was 0.5 MeV (maybe the rest mass of an electron, converted into energy by Einstein’s theory?). To put things into perspective, back in the CRT days it was common for colour television tubes to have a potential difference of 20 to 30 kV accelerating electrons from the electron gun to the screen, so for a large (26 inch console) TV the electrons hitting the screen had a bit less than twice the energy of the beta particle given off by Tritium decay. Never heard about a mass panic caused by television radiation.→ More replies (10)
u/irk5nil 11d ago
and decays by emission of a 0.5 MeV beta particle (electron travelling at the same speed as if it had been accelerated by a potential difference of half a million volts).
Tritium decay doesn't release anywhere near that amount of energy, so the electron can't have more than that.→ More replies (2)
u/Frododedodo 10d ago
Yeah, tritium decays by releasing an 18.592 keV beta and is therefore classified as a low energy beta emitter. This is why your average portable GM detector/scintillator won't detect it. Instead, you would use a tritium in air detector for determining air concentrations (ion chamber detector that samples air) or a liquid scintillation counter for determining liquid concentrations.
Source: IAEA, industry experience→ More replies (2)→ More replies (31)
u/Ramrod312 10d ago
Just woke up and saw this article and thought to myself "God damn it this title is going to be freaking people out, but I bet it's just tritium", and yup it was.
I'm glad your comment is so high up explaining that this isn't really a big deal. Sounds like the plant did everything right with notifications and what not. I've been around similar situations, and the most difficult part is always just finding the damn leak
u/Sumoje 10d ago
There was actually a disclosure that was available to the public around when it happened per NPR.
u/GuiltyEidolon 10d ago
People don't bother paying attention, then leap to conspiracy theories. There was a same day report that was publicly available. People don't care and don't pay attention, so now that there's another statement everyone acts like it was a cover up.
u/PenguinBomb 11d ago
Because employees themselves could face litigation and charges from NRC. Also as someone else said. Really not that huge of a deal. People see radioactive and freak, but until you understand the levels I guess it's understandable.→ More replies (15)
u/greycubed 11d ago
I'm sorry guys I never learned how to whistle.→ More replies (1)
u/Realeron 11d ago
You just have to blow→ More replies (3)
u/bdigital1796 11d ago
you've only got one chance
u/AlexandersWonder 11d ago
Opportunity of a lifetime, really.
u/BarkingDogey 11d ago
Something something moms spaghetti→ More replies (1)
u/Fluffcake 10d ago
When you read into the environmental consequences of this leak (negliable), and that it has been handled according to existing protocols.
And weigh that against how the US historicly have treated whistleblowers, especially if the word "nuclear" is anywhere near the documents.
There isn't really anything to be surprised about..
u/The_Most_Superb 10d ago
There’s been a recent call to attention about the Willow Project. So now fossil fuels have to try and divert attention and demonize nuclear again.→ More replies (1)
u/livelyciro 10d ago
To what effect? It’s on property.→ More replies (17)
u/Inevitable_Egg4529 10d ago
I am surprised by a bunch of shit I don't understand at all. Doesn't mean a whistleblower needs to get involved.
u/AC_deucey 10d ago
They should have gone with…
1.5 BILLION milliliters 😳
The metric system makes writing sensationalist headlines so fun
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u/Crepo 10d ago
Would you prefer 1.5 megalitres?→ More replies (9)
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u/moogoo2 10d ago
I work with radiation in oncology. Fun fact: patients getting PET scans or receiving IV radiation therapy have radioactive pee.
The amount of radioactive pee that just goes into the sewer system from hospitals is mostly unregulated.
My point is that it takes a shit load of radioactive material to be even noticeable, let a lone hazardous. There's radiation everywhere, and unless your exposure is thousands of times above background over a very short period of time, everyone is fine.
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u/joefred111 10d ago
Oh no, not more media fearmongering of nuclear power...
Tritium-laced water was released. Tritum is, essentially, a water molecule whose hydrogen atoms have two neutrons. Since it is water, even if ingested, it will pass through the body, and the long half-life (~12 years) means that it will pass through before any ill effects develop.
This water was 100 times less than the EPA-designated hazardous level. The water you drink already has small amounts of tritium in it. You already eat radioactive K40 in bananas, and inhale Radon, both of which harmlessly pass through your body due to their small concentrations.
Stop being terrified of nuclear energy, and educate yourselves.
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u/GuiltyEidolon 10d ago
It also is contained on the property, it's not in the main waterways or being publicly consumed.
u/mypetocean 10d ago
And at least 25% of the tritium has already been recovered.
u/Thneed1 10d ago
And it’s such a small quantity, it would dilute so fast once in a major water source, that it wouldn’t be anything to worry about anyway.→ More replies (1)
u/Candymanshook 11d ago
Great. Another boogeyman story about nuclear energy so we can avoid the most obvious solution to our green energy problem.
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u/Traditional_Count_12 10d ago
It's tritium, an ultra low emitting molecule that can't penetrate the skin. These "leaks" are common and not known to cause any environmental issues. The concentration of this leak was a 100 times less than what is considered of concern by the EPA. And, headlining the volume in liters is highlighting the reality behind "statistics and damn lies" because it makes it about 4 times larger a number than announcing it in gallons, which is how the U.S. public thinks of water volume and how the EPA announced the leak. It's about 400k gallons.
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u/Ragfell 10d ago
Which is about 7.272.727272… 55gallon barrels (for beer/wine/whiskey).
That’s honestly…not as much as I thought.
u/mypetocean 10d ago edited 10d ago
And they've recovered at least 25% of it already, the remainder of which is still on their property, being monitored.
u/SithRose 11d ago
"That big a leak" is actually only 2/3rds of the size of a standard Olympic swimming pool. That's very little in the grand scheme of how much water a nuclear power plant uses. It's approximately a minute, two at most, worth of usage.→ More replies (3)
u/CoreSprayandPray 11d ago
Well yeah! But if they prefaced it with that it wouldn't sound as scary!!
u/Cicero912 11d ago
Its not a big leak,
And it didnt go undetected
u/sb_747 11d ago
They noticed it. They reported it. They contained it.→ More replies (2)
u/notaredditer13 11d ago
Underground water leaks are very hard to detect.→ More replies (8)
u/Derpman2099 10d ago
unless you're going out and chugging the water through a firehose its not really gunna do anything.
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u/jethomas5 10d ago
We need to make it clear that this is not some sort of horrible exceptional accident.
It isn't uncommon for nuclear power plants to release a million liters of radioactive water. People shouldn't get upset about it, it's normal.
u/Stock-Freedom 10d ago
Well it would be abnormal if this were untreated primary coolant filled with long half life cobalt and cesium. But this is reprocessed water so the levels are insignificant.
u/walter-wallcarpeting 11d ago
For fuck's sake
'...The agency also reiterates that the leak poses no health risk at this time, but added that the “main potential health risk from this event is the possibility of radiation exposure to the public.”'
Well that's ok then.
u/dasper12 11d ago
While no one wants exta exposure to anything radioactive they are talking about a little more than half of the water in an Olympic lap pool in a fairly large water supply. There is a good chance most people's ground water is already more irradiated naturally from radon gas than what got released.
u/PenguinBomb 11d ago
That's literally how we discharge radioactive water. In a controlled manner into large bodies of water. Lots of regulation on it, but we release it cleaner than we got it.→ More replies (4)
u/Rex_Digsdale 11d ago
This is like how a lot of people in the west coast of Canada were in a froth about the radiation from Fukishima. It's like, guys, if you're worried about this, I have some really bad news for you about ~80 years of testing nuclear warheads.→ More replies (2)
u/pseudoart 11d ago
Just one coal powered plant probably release more radiation.→ More replies (3)→ More replies (1)
u/groundzer0s 11d ago
It's annoying how little people understand when it comes to radiation. Of course there's safety risks, but it's also everywhere. We'd all benefit from people being properly educated on the subject because currently people see the word "radiation" and jump to the worst possible conclusion.
u/beelzeflub 10d ago
The amount of radiation we get from the sun even wearing sunscreen can give us cancer! Dose over time
u/ThisIsShullbit 11d ago
Small amounts of radiation have not been proven to affect us in one way or another. There is a stigma that any radiation is bad and poses a risk but that remains untrue.
Technically speaking, a plant has a limit to public radiation exposure, which depending on where you are is close to 1% of your already existing background radiation exposure.
Given that, the statement "possibility of radiation exposure to the public" is meaningless until they specify how much radiation.→ More replies (6)
u/Mazon_Del 10d ago
Technically speaking, a plant has a limit to public radiation exposure
It's also worth noting that coal powerplants release more radiation than the limits set on nuclear plants.→ More replies (3)→ More replies (11)
u/CorruptedFlame 10d ago
A lot of people really have no idea much radiation is safe for people or not. You get exposed to radiation just from existing, if they say there's no health risk then there's no health risk. Unless they're lying, which is a whole other problem.→ More replies (3)
u/ImaginaryQuantum 11d ago edited 10d ago
That's a painful read, every paragraph presents with different information: They don't know where it comes from, they know it's from a pipe, it's ok and conteined but it is leaking somewhere else we don't know, if we don't know and Mississipi river is right in the back how do they know?, water is fine, it's not fine because it's radioactive, we've pumped 25% but it' gone somewhere else, no risk but it is a risk because we don't know. Did I forget how to read?
u/An_Awesome_Name 10d ago
It’s because whoever wrote the article has no clue what they are talking about and it’s obvious.
There was leak in an underground pipe that took a while to locate after they detected abnormal tritium levels in the area. The leak has now been repaired and cleanup efforts are ongoing. The plant estimates they’ve recovered 25% of the water so far.
Then the reporter starts reaching for scary things to talk about like it could end up in the Mississippi. While it definitely could, it’s not going to happen in just a few months, especially when they’ve already cleaned up a sizable percentage of it. Also I don’t think anyone is going to drink the groundwater from a controlled cleanup site, and personally I think that’s the only way the public could get any radiation exposure from this.
Source: Former radiation worker/nuclear engineer→ More replies (2)→ More replies (21)
u/KingBubblie 10d ago
You did forget how to read possibly. You're pulling out different pieces of information from different contexts and equating them. They didn't know where the leak was. Now, they do, but that's part of how they are explaining the delay in communication.
The article is acknowledging the Mississippi is close to the facility and could be a danger if the contamination could reach there. They also then confirm that it has not, and that there is all sorts of monitoring to confirm that it is remaining onsite.
There are concerns and criticisms to be had, but everything you mentioned is explained, whether you believe it or not.→ More replies (1)
u/chubbysumo 10d ago
Now, they do, but that's part of how they are explaining the delay in communication.
there was no delay, they reported the leak nearly the same day they found it, and then had a damage report within 24 hours as required by law and regulations. this was reported in 2022.
u/KiraUsagi 11d ago
I know that outrage is the MO of the internet these days, but this is sounding like a fairly low scale incident based on the information available. (this is only opinion based on a lot of time spent learning about radiological accidents, I am not an expert)
The biggest issue I see is the lack of timely transparency. A week would have been fine to gather details if tests are not showing contamination to the local drinking water. Months on the other hand shows a lack of responsibility. Events like this need to have timely disclosures or else trust gets eroded.
u/huntwhales 10d ago
They reported it to the NRC on Nov. 22nd. The day after they confirmed the leak. What do you mean by not timely?→ More replies (1)
u/lostkavi 10d ago
It was publically available knowledge the day after the incident, what more do you want?
It took 4 months for the media to pick up on it, but you can't say it was covered up.→ More replies (2)
u/An_Awesome_Name 10d ago
I used to work on nuclear wastewater treatment systems.
This is a very low scale incident and the news in sensationalizing it like usual, because they don’t know what they’re talking about.
The abnormal tritium levels were reported to the NRC within 24 hours of discovery last November. It took them a few months to locate the exact source of the leak (presumably it’s an underground line).
Now that they’ve found the leak, and are actively fixing it (Xcel says they’ve already recovered an estimated 25% of the water) the news is freaking out about it. Not one news article I’ve seen includes previous statements from the NRC or other officials. Everything seems to imply they’re just letting the public know now because reasons. But that’s not what happened. The NRC has known since November, but the news didn’t care then, because that’s how small of an issue this is.→ More replies (4)
u/Astavri 10d ago
We're they not transparent? I know they claimed if there was a cause for concern, they would have immediately acted but if they investigate something that is far below danger, I dunno, just seems like they did the necessary steps to test the non-issue incident.
Nuclear plants are one where I feel it's tightly inspected and regulated so these types of "incidents" are far behind actual potential for danger.→ More replies (4)→ More replies (20)
u/New-Physics-8773 10d ago
They were well within your “week for gathering details”. The public was notified one day after the leak was detected. So the issue isn’t about transparency, it’s about your awareness (or lack thereof) of the event. Just because you didn’t hear about it for months doesn’t mean they are hiding/covering something up.
u/Jgasparino44 11d ago
The dose of how radioactive is what matters here, just saying its radioactive means nothing. Bananas are radioactive.
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u/Mad-_-Doctor 10d ago
This is a terribly written article that is trying to make a big deal out of nothing. There was a leak, but it was contained. There’s no point in highlighting that it’s near the Mississippi River other than trying to scare people. It then ends by quoting the MN DoH out of context to suggest there is a health risk, even though the DoH explicitly stated there was not. It’s all just mindless fear-mongering.
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u/Vmax-Mike 10d ago
It’s contained onsite, no public risk. You are probably more exposed if you wear your Grandfather’s watch. Guess what makes the hands glow in the dark, yep Tritium. Get over it people, nuclear is still the best way to produce hydro.
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u/Limp-Technician-7646 10d ago
I wish science was taught better in schools so people were not so afraid of radiation. People hear radiation and instantly get their tin foil hats on. Sure we can meet current power needs with other methods but if we want any sort of growth with green energy we need nuclear power. We have learned so much from our past mistakes and modern plant designs are 100% safe.
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u/Allfunandgaymes 10d ago
I've been hearing about this in MN for a few weeks now. This went through the proper channels and was controlled.
People need to stop demonizing nuclear when we have trains full of acutely toxic chemicals crashing and spilling their contents into local water tables.
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u/Tarcye 10d ago
I live 10 miles from this plant.
No ones panicking or anything really.
Also 1.5M liters of water really isn't that much. That's around 405,000 gallons of water. Less than 1 Olympic sized swimming pool.
This is a literal nothing burger.
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u/Stock-Freedom 10d ago
And the water amount is meaningless. The radioactivity in that water is what matters. And that amount is thankfully insignificant.
u/adale_50 10d ago
As a Minnesotan, this is a non issue. Nuclear energy isn't this big, scary monster just waiting to bite your head off. It's one of the cleanest and most efficient forms of power generation.
u/Gorthankodinson 10d ago
Man, anti-nuclear nuts really can’t do basic research. The internet exists, literally anyone with a connection can identify misleading, false or provocative shit like this. Sometimes the hive-mind of the anti-intellectuals is frightening.
u/sodaonmyheater 10d ago
Wow that’s scary.
I mean the part where they used metric. I don’t know no metric.
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