News has emerged of exceptionally high radiation levels at a nuclear reactor in northeast Ohio that has caused concern to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant in question is the Perry Nuclear Power Plant that was evacuated on Apr 22 after radiation levels rose while the plant was shutting down for a refuelling outage, revealed the commission. The plant officials have confirmed that workers have not been exposed to radiation in excess of NRC limits, the commission added.
In a statement issued by the commission, "The plant is in a safe condition and there has been no impact to workers at the plant or members of the public from this issue." The commission explained that trouble started when workers were removing a monitor that measures nuclear reactions during start-up, low-power operations and shutdown.
The highest recorded radiation exposure to workers were measured at 98 millirems, which is the equivalent to two or three chest X-rays, revealed a spokesman for the owners of the nuclear reactor. He also added that the NRC's limit for radiation exposure in a year is 5000 millirems.
The plant owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. has been operational since 1987. Plant spokesperson revealing the lapses in the part of workers stated, "The contractors did not use the proper method to remove this piece of equipment from underneath the reactor. It shouldn't have happened, but the bottom line was it did not impact the safety or health of the contractors or the public."
The Commission started inspecting the plant from Monday and refused to divulge how high the radiation levels are and how often such are carried out.