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Environment

'Sheen' On Lake Ontario Due To Oil From Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant

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WXXI photo
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Lake Ontario from Charlotte Pier, near site of future research center.

The mystery of an oil sheen on Lake Ontario near Oswego has been solved.

The Nuclear Regulatory  Commission says that the oil that was spotted near the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba turns out to be oil from the turbine building roof at that power plant.

Officials say the oil was coming from a vent for the hydrogen seal system.  An NRC spokesperson, Neil Sheehan, says it  appears about 20 to 30 gallons that leaked were then drained through the plant’s discharge drain system to the lake.

The company that operates  the plant, Entergy, has placed oil-absorbent pads on the turbine building roof and has also stopped all circulating water pumps to eliminate any further discharges. 

The oil has not adversely impacted plant operations.  The NRC says its resident inspectors were notified of the leakage and are following the actions taken by Entergy to address it.

Entergy released a statement saying that it had identified the source of oil released to the site’s discharge canal and stopped the flow.

The company says the oil contains no PCB’s and is not radioactive and has low potential health effects, but still says any unintended release to Lake Ontario is not in accordance with its standards.

A preliminary investigation has determined a tank that stores lubrication oil overfilled due to an apparent equipment failure.

Entergy says it is it taking appropriate actions to mitigate the environmental consequence from the event and is working with the appropriate local, state and federal agencies.