Xcel Energy nuclear power plant in Monticello, Minnesota, USA. Photo:

Carlos Gonzalez / AP

The nuclear power plant near the US city of Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota, had to close due to a leak of radioactive water.

“While the leak continues to pose no risk to the public or the environment, we determined that the best course of action is to shut down the plant and make permanent repairs immediately,” Chris Clark, company president of Xcel Energy, said in the Los Angeles Times. states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“We continue to work and inform our state, federal, city and county leaders in the process,” he added.

The nuclear power plant had previously suffered a leak of more than 1.5 million liters of radioactive water, while this time the plant's monitoring team detected that thousands of more liters had leaked since temporary repairs were carried out, reaching groundwater.

“Continuous monitoring of more than two dozen monitoring wells at the site confirms that the filtered water remains fully contained at the site and has not been detected beyond the facility or in any local drinking water,” the company said, adding. that the leak does not represent any danger to “health or the environment”.

At the same time, the shutdown is expected not to affect electrical service.

The schedule for resuming operation at the plant is yet to be determined.

For its part, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reported last week that Xcel Energy reported the initial leak in late November 2022 “after finding unusual results during routine groundwater monitoring.”

In this context, Kirk Koudelka, Deputy Commissioner for Territory and Strategic Initiatives of the MPCA, stated that "the highest priority is to protect residents and the environment."

The agency "works closely with other state agencies to oversee Xcel Energy's monitoring data and cleanup activities," it added.

(With information from RT in Spanish)

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