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Uranium Leaked Through Floor of South Carolina Nuclear Plant via EcoWatch

A nuclear plant in Richmond County, South Carolina with a history of contaminating groundwater has leaked radioactive uranium into the soil below the plant, The State reported Tuesday.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) officials said there was no reason to believe this leak left the the site of the Westinghouse plant or posed a threat to public drinking water, but state senator Darrell Jackson is calling for a public meeting to discuss the leak and other historic issues at the plant, The State further reported Wednesday.

[…]

The NRC found uranium levels in the soil of 4,000 parts per million, more than 1,000 times higher than average for soil.

“That’s a lot, oh yeah,” U.S. Geological Survey scientist Frank Chapelle told The State.

The company has covered the hole with a metal plate and said it would not use the area until it was completely repaired.

[…]

“Based on existing information, there is no threat to the public from this recent release or from historical groundwater contamination at this secured site as there is no exposure risk to the general public,” DHEC spokesperson Tommy Crosby told The State.

But Jackson was not reassured.

“What we don’t know is what kind of impact that’s going to have 20 years from now on the groundwater, this drip, drip, drip,” Jackson said. “I don’t know of too many people too receptive to living in the area when they know the groundwater is contaminated.”

[…]

Groundwater below the plant has also been found to be contaminated with nitrate since 1984. While clean up efforts were made, the nitrate was not entirely removed, The State reported.

The leak comes as the Trump administration has promised to assist unprofitable nuclear and coalplants. Its most recent plan, reported in June, would require that grid operators buy power from struggling plants for the sake of national security.

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