Springing a Radioactive Leak

Plumbing problems close several nuclear-power plants

Residents of Ontario, N.Y., are used to seeing steam spouting from the stacks of the Robert E. Ginna nuclear-power plant. So they were not excited last week when the 470-MW plant, which serves 320,000 customers in communities near Lake Ontario, once again began sending white plumes into the frigid air. But their calm turned to alarm when cars from local law-enforcement agencies arrived to block the plant's gates, and word spread that county officials were dusting off plans to evacuate surrounding residential areas. After twelve years of accident-free operation, the Ginna plant had sprung a leak...

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