Officials: Small leak at Palo Verde nuclear plant poses no threat

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A leak at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix poses no danger to the public, according to plant officials.

A minute leak of radioactive water is occurring where an instrumentation tube connects to the bottom of the reactor vessel inside a containment area, according to Alan Bunnell with Arizona Public Service.

The leak is in a part of the reactor built to contain any radioactive material.

Bunnell said there is no opportunity for a radioactive release into the environment.

The problem was discovered on Oct. 6 while Unit 3 was shut down for scheduled maintenance.

"The leak was very small," said Bob Bement, senior vice president of site operations at Palo Verde. "It's inside the containment building, so it's protected, but it is concerning to us because it is something that we've got to go in and fix and we will fix before we start this unit back up."

The unit was taken offline and could be down for up to 30 days while repairs are completed.

An investigation is underway to determine what caused the leak.