Radioactive waste leak at Dutch reactor

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Two drums at the nuclear reactor near the Dutch town Petten have leaked radioactive waste, Dutch daily de Telegraaf reported on Friday.

The drums contained items used for nuclear research in the 1960s such as bolts, tools and samples. Some of these items were made of PVC. Under the influence of radiation a chemical reaction can cause the PVC to damage the steel of the drums.

Dutring the past two months, the owner of the nuclear facility, NRG, tried to repackage the drums into safer containers. During the repackaging, NRG discovered that two drums had broken and were leaking radiation.

The company has temporarily ceased the repackaging activities and sealed the storage tube that holds the broken drums. They are currently looking into a safer way of repackaging them.

NRG is confident that the leaks were of such a small magnitude that neither their employees nor anyone else in the surrounding area has been adversely affected.

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