Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Leak in old fuel rod caused present contamination

SANDUSKY, Ohio Low levels of radioactive soil discovered near a closed nuclear test facility were caused in part by a pinhole leak originally found on a fuel rod in October 1968, officials said.

NASA officials cleaning up the space agency s former Plum Brook reactor asked the facility s retired employees to help find where the contamination of cobalt-60 and cesium-137 originated.

After a two-day search through old records, information about the leaking fuel rod was found in handwritten log books and identified as the source of the cesium-137, said Keith Peecook, acting program manager for the cleanup at the site about four miles south of this northern Ohio city.

The cobalt-60 could have come from the leak or from flakes of iron carried away by water passing through the reactor s core, Peecook said.

The radioactive materials were detected last year in a drainage ditch off Plum Brook, a tributary of Lake Erie s Sandusky Bay. Health experts have said the material does not pose a health risk.

NASA operated the reactor between 1961 and 1973.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2015 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…