Chlorine bleach leak at Prairie Island Nuclear Plant - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Chlorine bleach leak at Prairie Island Nuclear Plant

RED WING, Minn. (AP) -- Officials say a 2-inch break in a pipe leading to a chlorine bleach tank is to blame for a chemical spill at the Prairie Island nuclear plant near Red Wing.

They say a plant worker discovered the break, leading to an alert being declared shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday. They say public safety was never at risk and no radiological material was released.

About 500 gallons of the chemical, which is used to clean river water needed to cool the plant, spilled. The chemical can cause respiratory problems, but plant officials say no workers were hurt.

An alert is step two in a four-tier system of classifying plant incidents. Xcel Energy's chief nuclear officer, Dennis Koehl, says it's the first time an alert has been issued for Prairie Island.


RED WING, Minn. (WXOW) -- Emergency crews are responding to an alert at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant in Red Wing.

Xcel Energy says the alert was issued at 3:53 a.m. Thursday after a non-radiological spill of a chemical agent.  Officials say no radioactive releases have occurred and residents in surrounding areas have not been asked to take any protective actions.

KARE 11 reports two Wisconsin schools have delayed classes because of the leak.

A spokesperson for Xcel Energy says sodium hypochloride, commonly known as chlorine bleach, leaked from a tank and is fully contained within a berm.

An environmental crew is heading to the site to begin clean-up.

The cause of the leak is being investigated. 

An alert is the second lowest level of a four-level federal classification system for nuclear generating plant emergencies.


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