Xcel Energy released a statement on March 16 admitting to the spill of water containing a radioactive isotope known as tritium when a pipe at the nuclear plant broke last November. The company claimed there is no danger to the public. (Related: FEMA map shows areas most at risk of being targeted by nuclear warheads in a war.)
"Xcel Energy took swift action to contain the leak to the plant site, which poses no health and safety risk to the local community or the environment," wrote the company. Xcel further claimed that tritium emits low levels of radiation, no different from the low levels of radiation found in what people normally eat.
The Monticello plant is about 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis and lies upstream from the city of the Mississippi River.
Xcel reported the leak of 400,000 gallons of water to state and federal regulators on Nov. 22, 2022. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), which also claimed that the leak does not pose a risk to the drinking water of Minnesotans, said the broken pipe was patched by Dec. 19. Neither the MPCA nor any other state or federal authority publicized the leak before Xcel's statement on Thursday.
When asked why the company did not notify the public immediately about the spill, an Xcel spokesperson claimed: "We understand the importance of quickly informing the communities we serve if a situation poses an immediate threat to health and safety. In this case, there was no such threat."
Xcel Energy is leading the cleanup of the area contaminated by radioactive water with the cooperation of state authorities, particularly the MPCA.
The MPCA claimed it did not go public with the information because it was waiting for additional data from Xcel.
"We knew there was a presence of tritium in one monitoring well, however, Xcel had not yet identified the source of the leak and its location," said MPCA spokesman Michael Rafferty. "Now that we have all the information about where the leak occurred, how much was released into groundwater and that contaminated groundwater had moved beyond the original location, we are sharing this information."
Since reporting the leak to state and federal authorities, Xcel claims it has been pumping groundwater and storing and processing the contaminated groundwater.
"Ongoing monitoring from over two dozen on-site monitoring wells confirms that the leaked water is fully contained on-site and has not been detected beyond the facility or in any local drinking water," said the company in a statement.
Xcel claims it has recovered about 25 percent of the spilled tritium so far, and that recovery efforts will continue. Following the end of the cleanup, Xcel said it will install a permanent solution to prevent future spills.
"While this leak does not pose a risk to the public or the environment, we take this very seriously and are working to safely address the situation," Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota President Chris Clark in a statement. "We continue to gather and treat all potentially affected water while regularly monitoring nearby groundwater sources."
Learn more about nuclear and radioactive accidents and disasters at Radiation.news.
Watch this clip from "The American Journal" on InfoWars as host Harrison Smith discusses, among other topics, the Monticello plant's leak of 400,000 gallons of radioactive water.