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Palisades' water tank bottom to be replaced after radioactive leak

7:24 PM, May 20, 2013   |    comments
The Palisades Nuclear Plant has been shut down five times in 2012.
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COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The owners of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Van Buren County say they will replace the bottom of a water tank that was the source of a radioactive leak earlier this month.

The leak came from a small crack along a nozzle weld on the refueling water storage tank, according to Entergy spokeswoman Lindsay Rose.

About 79 gallons of radioactive water ended up in Lake Michigan as a result of the May 5 leak, though government regulators say the radiation level of the water was not harmful to the environment.

In a statement released Monday night, Rose says Entergy has decided to "move forward with a complete replacement of the tank bottom and total reconstitution of the subflooring."  She says the New Orleans-based company hopes the work is a permanent solution to the plant's most recent issues.

The repairs are expected to take until at least early summer to complete.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton toured Palisades on May 13 with a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Entergy representatives.  Upton said the plant should not be put back into operation until permanent repairs were made.

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