Tritium leak reported at nuclear plant in northern Alabama

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) – A newspaper reports that radioactive water leaked from a tank at an Alabama nuclear plant, releasing tritium into the environment.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (http://bit.ly/1BbmIs2) that the leak occurred last week at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant near Athens, Alabama.

A spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the plant, said the leak was quickly contained and presented no public risk.

The TVA said a drain line leaked 100 to 200 gallons of water containing tritium levels above acceptable drinking water standards.

In a report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the TVA said it increased monitoring of water around the plant but hasn’t detected elevated tritium levels outside the plant.

Tritium is a radioactive form of hydrogen that occurs in nature and also as a byproduct of nuclear fission.