Tue., October 11, 2011 8:43am (EDT)

Plant Hatch Leaking Pipe Sealed
By Associated Press
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA   —  
An underground pipe that leaked radioactive water has been sealed off underneath Plant Hatch in southeast Georgia.(photo-Southern Nuclear Operating Company).
An underground pipe that leaked radioactive water has been sealed off underneath Plant Hatch in southeast Georgia.(photo-Southern Nuclear Operating Company).
An underground pipe that leaked radioactive water has been sealed off underneath a nuclear power plant in Georgia.

Southern Co. officials say that covers have been welded onto the ends of the faulty pipe below Plant Hatch in Baxley. Utility spokeswoman Amoi Geter said Monday that the pipe is no longer used. An above-ground replacement will be constructed.

The company learned of the leak last month when it detected abnormal amounts of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, in test wells at the plant. Geter said there are no signs that the radioactive water has moved off the property.

Tritium has been linked to cancer if ingested or absorbed through the skin in large amounts. But the utility says it's highly unlikely the contaminated water would get into drinking wells.