Nuclear, Waste Management & Decommissioning

Radioactive Water Spilled at Former Genoa Nuclear Plant

By Editors of Power Engineering

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission found that 400 gallons of radioactive water from the site of the Genoa nuclear plant in Wisconsin was spilled into the Mississippi River last year.

However, the NRC said there was little risk to public health and did not issue a citation against LaCrosseSolutions, the company in charge of decommissioning the plant, the LaCrosse Tribune reported.

The incident occurred when a garden hose attached to a sump pump had been left overnight in a tank of waste water. The hose, which normally returned water to the tank, instead siphoned contaminated water back out of the tank, with some water spilling over the tip of a berm and into a storm sewer.

An analysis of the water indicated cesium-137 concentrations of 0.000001 to 0.00000286 microcuries per milliliter, which exceeds federal limits. However, officials said that amount is not hazardous.

The 50-MW Genoa nuclear unit was closed in 1987, though a 379-MW coal-fired unit continues to operate at the site.