‘Compares to receiving an x-ray’??? How long until this BS comparisons cease to exist? (Rhetoric question.)
– NC State says nuclear reactor leak poses no threat (ABC NEWS, July 07, 2011):
RALEIGH — North Carolina State University says a small leak in its nuclear research reactor is not a public health threat.
The reactor is housed in the Burlington Nuclear Engineering Laboratory. The building is located at 2500 Katharine Stinson Drive.
N.C. State physicist Gerry Wicks said Thursday the reactor is leaking about 10 gallons of water per hour. Facilities are only required to report leaks in excess of 350 gallons an hour.
NC State said the leak was suspected on Friday and confirmed on Saturday. It said the public was not informed sooner because of the low level of danger. The amount of radioactivity was compared to what someone might receive getting an x-ray.
The school says the leak is so small that special equipment is required to detect its location in the reactor’s lining. The company that can do that will not be in Raleigh until next week. In the meantime, the leak is being closely monitored. The reactor has been shut down since the leak was discovered.
The reactor operates at a level of about one megawatt, compared to nearly 3,000 megawatts at a typical nuclear power plant. It’s one of roughly 20 university-operated reactors in the United States.
– Minor water leak reported at NC State’s nuclear reactor (WRAL, July 7, 2011):
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State University officials said Thursday that there is a low-level water leak in the liner that surrounds the campus nuclear reactor, but that it poses no danger to the public.
University spokesman Keith Nichols described the leak, discovered Saturday, as the size of a pinhead and that it was leaking about 10 gallons per hour from the 15,000-gallon tank.
“This is a research reactor and considerably smaller than a commercial power reactor,” said Gerry Wicks, the university’s reactor health physicist. “Its design significantly limits the possibility that, even under the worst circumstances, this facility presents any kind of danger.”
Nichols said it would be considered a public threat if the reactor were leaking at 350 gallons per hour.
The university is in the process of repairing the leak and has notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, North Carolina Radiation Protection Division and North Carolina Division of Water Quality about it, Nichols said.
The reactor has been in operation at N.C. State since 1972 and is one of about 20 university-operated reactors in the country. It is in operation about 1,000 hours annually for nuclear research, the school said.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspected the reactor in February and found no significant issues.