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Water leak at Shearon Harris no threat to people, water supply

About 1,000 gallons of radiation-tainted water leaked from a pipe on the grounds of Progress Energy's Shearon Harris nuclear plant Sunday, safety regulators said.

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NEW HILL, N.C. — About 1,000 gallons of radiation-tainted water leaked from a pipe on the grounds of Progress Energy's Shearon Harris nuclear plant Sunday, safety regulators said.

The leak was contained to the site and there was never a threat to drinking water or people, the regulators added.

A plant operator discovered the leaky pipe -- about 15 feet from the nuclear plant's water treatment building, and about 2 miles within the plant boundary -- during a routine round of inspections, a spokeswoman said.

Water flowing from the pipe contained tritium, a low-level source of radiation produced as a by-product of nuclear power. The water saturated an area of about 100 cubic feet of soil and will be allowed to evaporate, regulators said.

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