A small amount of radiation leaked at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant Monday when a seal on a pump leaked, contaminating nine workers with a small amount of radiation, the plant’s operator said.
An “unusual event,” the lowest of four emergency categories in the nuclear industry, was declared at 1:50 a.m. when the leak was detected, said TMI spokesman Doug Bedell. The event was declared over at 4:20 a.m. The nine workers later returned to work.
About 300 gallons of filtered water from the reactor’s primary system was released during the 10-minute leak in the Unit 1 auxiliary building, and a small amount of radioactive gas was vented outside the plant, said GPU Nuclear Corp., which operates the plant.
Karl Abraham, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman, said the incident was not serious.
The Unit 1 reactor was restarted Oct. 3 for the first time since 1979, when the adjacent Unit 2 was crippled in the nation’s worst commercial nuclear accident. Unit 2 remains closed.