Radioactive Water Spill in Limerick

Several thousand gallons of radioactive cooling water was spilled from a clogged pipe at the Limerick Nuclear power plant on March 19th. Neighbors of the power plant say they weren't properly notified about the incident. NBC10's Doug Shimell reports. (Published Friday, April 20, 2012)

Terry Killian says she never has to water her lawn as long as she lives across from the Limerick Nuclear power plant and the massive cooling towers

“The mist…It feels like it’s starting to rain but it’s not. It’s from them,” Killian said.

She and many other neighbors were not happy to learn that several thousand gallons of radioactive cooling water has spilled from a clogged pipe March 19th during a scheduled release into the Schuylkill River.

“The pipe vent overflowed and some of the water got on the ground soil. As a result some of that soil had some radiological effluence in there,” Dana Melia, a Limerick Nuclear Plant spokesperson, said.

Melia says there was no public danger, the soil was removed and federal regulators were notified. But the public was not told until 23 days later.

“It did not fall within the guidelines for an emergency notification. However, within 24 hours we notified the NRC, state and local officials and local municipalities.”

Limerick’s Police Chief Bill Albany says even their notification was 24 hours late.

“There was a question about the delay and that they said that they would follow-up on that. And quite frankly I was surprised that there was a delay because I normally interact with the security department at LGS and we communicate in real time.” Plant officials say they heard the public concern about the lack of notification and are now changing their policy.

“If it does not meet the criteria for an emergency notification we remain committed to the community and our elected and local officials and we will, as a courtesy, notify them if another situation is to occur,” Melia said.

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