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Vermont Nuclear Plant Says Radioactive Leak Plugged

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VERNON, Vt. — Officials at Vermont's only nuclear power plant say they've stopped a leak of a radioactive substance and are starting to clean up the groundwater.

The Vermont Yankee tritium leak reported Jan. 7 was from two pipes in a concrete tunnel. Water carrying tritium seeped into soil and groundwater because of a clogged drain.

Plant officials say the cleanup will begin Thursday at the plant in Vernon, near where Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts meet.

They also say no detectable tritium levels have been found in nearby drinking water well samples or in the Connecticut River.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan calls the announcement "very good news" but says federal regulators still have concerns about the leak.

The 38-year-old plant is scheduled to close in 2012, but owner Entergy Corp. is seeking permission to run it for another 20 years.

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