BRATTLEBORO, Vt., June 23 (UPI) -- Officials have found an 18-inch crack in a fiberglass cooling tower pipe at Vermont's Yankee nuclear reactor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirms.
A spokesman for the NRC says a second crack has developed at another location along the same pipe and non-radioactive water is leaking, the Rutland (Vt.) Herald reported Wednesday.
The disclosure of the two cracks in the large distribution pipe at the facility's east cooling tower follows the rebuilding of two towers over the past three years by Entergy and the discovery this year that radioactive water had been leaking.
Entergy spokesman Larry Smith says the two new leaks are spilling about 10 gallons a minute into the Connecticut River.
The NRC and Entergy held a public meeting at Brattleboro Union High School to discuss the leak Tuesday evening.
Legislative leaders and the Vermont Department of Health are urging Entergy to replace all underground pipes with above-ground systems that are easier to monitor.
Entergy says it has spent about $10 million so far cleaning up a radioactive leak discovered in January. It has removed about 240 cubic feet of radioactive soil and about 130,000 gallons of tritium-contaminated groundwater. The power company says it intends to extract another 300,000 gallons of radioactive water from the ground nearby.