Minnesota state agencies are monitoring the cleanup of a 400,000-gallon radioactive water leak from a nuclear power plant outside Minneapolis that occurred in November last year. The Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant is located about 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis and upstream from the Mississippi River. Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis-based utility company, has stated that the leak was contained to the plant site and poses no health or safety risks to either local communities or nearby environments.
The company did not reveal details of the incident until now because it believed there was no risk to public health or safety. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency confirmed on Thursday that “the leak was stopped and has not reached the Mississippi River or contaminated drinking water sources.” There is also no evidence at this time indicating any risk to drinking water wells in proximity to the plant.
Xcel said it had worked with state and federal regulators as well as local officials since reporting the incident on Nov. 22, 2022, adding that it “has been pumping, storing, and processing the water for reuse.” Tritium levels were found in leaked water; however, Xcel said they posed low-level radiation similar to common materials and food. Edwin Lyman of Union of Concerned Scientists told KARE11 news channel there would only be a health risk if people consumed high amounts of tritium.