NRC responds to chemical leak at Dresden nuclear power plant in Illinois

Source: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Dresden nuclear power station declared an Alert after a chemical leak restricted access to a vital area that houses plant cooling water pumps. The leaking chemical is sodium hypochlorite, which is similar to bleach, and is routinely used in plant operations to treat water. There is currently no impact to the public health and safety or the environment. 

Dresden  is owned and operated by Exelon Generating Company (NYSE:EXC). The station is located in Morris, Ill., roughly 60 miles southwest of Chicago and produces more than 1,700 megawatts of electricity from two General Electric boiling water reactors (Units 2 & 3).

The NRC’s two resident inspector’s onsite and staff in the Region III office located in Lisle, Ill are closely following the event and the utility’s actions.

The leak has been stopped and clean up by plant workers is underway. The utility reported about 330 gallons of the chemical leaked but was contained. The utility also reported two plant workers who were working in the area were taken offsite for treatment due to possible inhalation of the chemical fumes.

An Alert is the second lowest of the NRC’s emergency level classification. Once the event is over, the NRC will review the utility’s actions and follow up on the cause of the leak.

Both units continue to operate at 100 percent power.

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