Vermont Yankee reduces power to fix leak

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(Host) Vermont Yankee needs to reduce power in order to fix a leak that allows water from the Connecticut River to enter the plant’s condenser.

The condenser uses river water to cool steam from the turbine before it is re-heated.

Yankee spokesman Rob Williams said the leak is small. The condenser handles about 360-thousand gallons of water a minute and Williams said the leak is estimated to be about a half-gallon per minute. Williams said there is no water leaking from the reactor into the environment.

Williams says plant officials will cut power output in half sometime in the next few weeks so technicians can identify the precise location of the leak.

(Williams) "We’ve had this condition several times over the life of the plant. And what we do is reduce power and that allows us to isolate sections of the condenser and then it allows technicians to be able to go in and repair it."

(Host) Yankee wants to extend is license for another 20 years after 2012. Williams said Yankee will replace the condenser, but not unless the plant is relicensed.


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