Camera Finds Nuclear Plant Crack : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Camera Finds Nuclear Plant Crack

BUCHANAN, N.Y. (AP) -- A tiny, remotely controlled device with a video camera has found a crack in a tube that may have been the source of a radioactive leak at the Indian Point 2 nuclear power plant earlier this month, utility officials said.

In the plant's worst accident, radioactive water from the reactor contaminated the clean water that is turned to steam to drive turbines. A minute amount of the resulting radioactive steam -- too little to be measured -- escaped into the atmosphere, Con Edison said.

The plant 35 miles north of New York City declared the first alert in its 26-year history Feb. 15 and is expected to remain out of operation for several weeks. An alert is the second of four ascending levels of nuclear emergency.

The crack was found by one of eight snake-like devices threaded through the thousands of tubes in the steam generator. Testing will continue for several days, officials said.

''Preliminarily, this leak appears to be consistent with the leak that caused the Feb. 15 event,'' Con Ed vice president Stephen Quinn said Monday. ''As somebody that's looking for a needle in a haystack, it's really nice when you find the needle.''

Meanwhile Tuesday, officials from New York's northern suburbs met with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission but ''did not get the reassurances they wanted'' about safety at the Indian Point nuclear reactors, a spokeswoman said.

''It was a very good exchange of information,'' said Susan Tolchin, spokeswoman for Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano. ''But I can't say they feel comfortable about the long-term safety of the plant.''

Spano, Putnam County Executive Robert Bondi and representatives from Rockland and Orange counties met with Hubert Miller, the NRC's regional administrator, ''to get the NRC's understanding so far'' of the accident, said NRC spokeswoman Diane Scrensi

-- Martin Thompson (, February 29, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ