Crisis at US Nuclear Power Plants: Illinois Nuclear Power Plant Loses Power … Vents Nuclear Steam


Illinois Nuclear Plant Vents Tritium

Exelon nuclear power company – the largest nuclear operator in the U.S. – issued a press release today stating:

Operators at Byron Generating Station declared an Unusual Event at 10:18 a.m.CT, due to the loss of offsite power and Unit 2 coming offline.

The nuclear facility’s diesel generators activated as designed to provide power to the facility when there is a loss of offsite power to the facility. The facility remains in a safe condition. Station engineering experts are looking into the cause of the loss of offsite power.

Byron Station is designed to depressurize to reduce steam pressure as part of the many redundant safety systems built into the facility. Steam from the unit is released through safety relief valves that are specifically designed for this purpose. The steam, which will evaporate quickly, contained expected levels of tritium. Local residents may see or hear the steam release in progress, which will continue throughout the day until the unit cools down. These types of station releases are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

There is no health or safety impact to workers or to the public from the release, and Exelon Nuclear has notified all appropriate local, state and federal officials of the Unusual Event.


Tritium is produced in greater concentrations in commercial nuclear reactors and is routinely discharged into the environment under strictregulatory guidelines.

Indeed, an AP investigation found that 75 percent of American nuclear plants leak tritium. And many plants leak tritium into local water supplies surpassing drinking water standards.

While nuclear apologists pretend that “small” releases – like at Three Mile Island – cause no health effects, this is contrary to scientific evidence. See this and this.

And there have been so many accidents recently, that it makes one wonder whether we have the maturity to operate such inherently dangerous systems.  See this, this, this and this.

Even When Operating Normally, Nuclear Plants Vent Radioactive Materials Which Cause Cancer

It’s not just tritium, and it’s not just accidents.

While the nuclear industry and its lapdogs in the nuclear agencies say that living near a nuclear plant is safe, numerous scientific studies have found that – even when operating normally – the plants cause cancer.

For example, numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world show that the incidence of leukemia is much higher for people living near nuclear plants. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Articles by: Washington's Blog

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