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Minor water leak patched at NC State's nuclear reactor

Posted July 19, 2011

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— North Carolina State University officials said Tuesday that they have patched up a low-level water leak in the liner that surrounds the campus nuclear reactor. 

University spokesman Keith Nichols said the leak was patched on Friday, but officials are watching it this week to make sure it is completely sealed. 

The leak, discovered July 2, was the size of a pinhead and leaking about 10 gallons per hour from the 15,000-gallon tank. Nichols said it would have been considered a public threat if the reactor were leaking at 350 gallons per hour.

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.

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  • ICTrue Jul 20, 2011

    So Homer doesn't have to keep his finger in it now? That's gotta be a releif for Marge.

  • htomc42 Jul 20, 2011

    NCSU trivia:

    That "garden" beside Burlington Hall is actually the emergency water tank for the reactor. They couldn't put a building over it, so they disguised it as a garden up above.

    On either side of the building are two strange brick "art" works. These actually conceal the emergency water pipes that would be used if the emergency tank was activated. It's no accident that this building sits at the top of the hill like it does; the street going between Daniels and Riddick Halls on one side, and the slope down to the brickyard on the other, are meant as spillways for that water.