Exelon to pay $1 million over radioactive leaks

Chris Rizo Mar. 12, 2010, 1:00pm

Lisa Madigan (D)

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline)-An energy company will pay more than $1.1 million to resolve lawsuits filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan over radioactive leaks from three plants.

The Exelon Generation Corp. nuclear generating stations' discharge systems reportedly leaked tritium-contaminated water into the ground. Tritium, hydrogen isotope, is a byproduct of the nuclear power generating process.

The Chicago-based company has agreed to pay $628,000 in fines and pay $548,000 to bankroll environmental projects in the three counties where the leaks took place -- Braidwood, Byron and Dresden counties.

The settlement, announced Thursday, will resolve three civil complaints that Madigan and local state's attorneys filed jointly.

"It is imperative that Illinois' nuclear power plants are operated in a manner that does not endanger public health or the environment," Madigan said. "Through these actions, we are working to ensure that proper clean up has occurred and to put in place protections to prevent tritium leaks in the future."

In a statement, the Exelon noted that both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have said the tritium concentration levels from the leaks did not endanger public health.

"We're glad that a substantial amount of the settlement will go to our local communities in support of valuable environmental projects," said Exelon Chief Nuclear Officer Charles Pardee.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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