More problems in nuclear plant’s cooling towers

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Inspectors have found more problems with Vermont Yankee’s cooling towers.

A spokesman for Vermont Yankee owner Entergy Nuclear said Thursday that additional degraded support beams were discovered in the nuclear plant’s east cooling tower.

Rob Williams said a total of five cracked or broken columns have been found since leaks were discovered Tuesday night in a pipe transporting water from the Connecticut River.

He and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the leaks are not considered key to plant safety.

Williams said two of the five beams have already been replaced.

He says the leaks, which were caused by faulty packing in pipe joints, have been repacked.

The plant was operating at about 84 percent of its capacity on Thursday, after dropping to 50 percent when the leaks were discovered.

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