Water released with low tritium levels at Catawba Nuclear Station

Share This Story

YORK, S.C. - Officials at the Catawba Nuclear Station voluntarily reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, state and local county agencies the release of water with very low levels of tritium.

The tritium levels in this water were less than one-half of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards and pose no public health risks.

"Once we found the water, we immediately took action to isolate the pipe and repair plans are in progress," said Kelvin Henderson, Catawba site vice president. "All water is contained at the Catawba site and is not in close proximity to any drinking water wells."

The location of this water is about a half-mile inside the station's property.

Tritium is found naturally in air and water, and is a by-product of nuclear reactor operations. Tritium emits a very low level of radioactivity and leaves the body relatively quickly. Tritium must be ingested in large quantities to pose any significant health risks.

Catawba Nuclear Station is owned jointly by North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1, North Carolina Electric Membership Corp., Piedmont Municipal Power Agency and Duke Energy.

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 20,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $110 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.