Region’s Nuclear Power Plants Find Potentially Deadly Error

Region’s Nuclear Power Plants Find Potentially Deadly Error

Thirty-year-old errors were discovered at two regional nuclear power plants that could have been deadly for the Midwest. Plants in Monticello, Minnesota and Palo, Iowa discovered packing bolts on ventilation pipes that should have been removed before the pipes were put into place when the plants were built. The brackets that were found on the pipes were originally used to keep the pipes from expanding during shipping. The pipes are designed to expand and direct radioactive steam and hot water away from the reactor in the case of a meltdown. With the brackets still in place three decades later, it’s unlikely the pipes would have been able to expand and contain the radioactive steam. According to David Lochbaum, a nuclear safety engineer and spokesperson for the Union of Concerned Scientists, the failed ventilation pipes could have “increased the amount of radiation released in a nuclear accident 100-fold.”

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