From: Associated Press
Published January 26, 2006 12:00 AM

Nuclear Power Company Negotiates with Property Owners after Radioactive Leak

BRACEVILLE, Ill. — A nuclear power plant is buying out one property owner and negotiating financial settlements with 14 others after elevated levels of a radioactive substance were discovered near the site of a 1998 pipeline valve break.

Higher than normal tritium levels were found in groundwater near the site of the valve break in November.

One well at Exelon Corp.'s Braidwood Generating Plant, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, showed levels more than 11 times higher than the federal limit for groundwater, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Tritium is commonly found in groundwater but is more concentrated in water used in nuclear reactors.

Recent environmental tests at more than 200 sites on plant property and on private land around the plant indicate there's no health or safety threat to the area, Exelon spokesman Craig Nesbit said.

He said Tuesday that Exelon agreed to compensate the property owners because "We don't want these people to suffer any harm for something we did."

Exelon announced this week that it is offering free well tests to 28 property owners who live next to the 5-mile pipeline.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency cited Exelon for two violations of the state's groundwater standards and given the company until Feb. 3 to file a report about the tritium levels.

Source: Associated Press

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