MONTICELLO (WJON News) -- Xcel Energy says it will temporarily shut down its nuclear plant at Monticello, after determining that a water leak containing radioactive tritium is continuing -- although at a much lower rate -- which they reiterate poses no risk to the public or the environment.

Xcel officials say after they first detected that leak in a pipe between two buildings, they

"implemented a short-term solution to capture water from the leaking pipe and reroute it back into the plant for re-use" until the pipe could be replaced during next month's regularly-scheduled refueling outage.

But they say operators discovered the temporary fix over the past two days was no longer capturing 100 percent of the leaking water and

"the best course of action is to power down the plant and perform the permanent repairs immediately."

They say the new leak is much less water than the estimated 400-thousand gallons that got into the ground and that the utility is now pumping out and cleaning up.

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Xcel has community question-and-answer sessions Friday morning and Monday evening (5 to 8 pm) at the Monticello Community Center and the public is invited to stop by at any time during those meetings.


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