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Renewing the Nuclear Past (Part 2)

Cooling units at the Vermont Yankee power station. Radioactive tritium (an isotope of hydrogen) has leaked into the ground near the center of the plant. (Photo by Shawn Allee)

Power companies hope to extend the working life of old nuclear reactors because it's cheaper to run them than it is to build new reactors. But old reactors require federal approval to renew their licenses. For the past decade, power companies have been on a winning streak. They’d gotten reactor licenses renewed every time they asked. Shawn Allee reports one of the industry’s most recent bets went wrong:

News of the tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee

More on tritium from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Entergy's website on Vermont Yankee

Producer: Shawn Allee
Release Date: March 4, 2010
Running Time: 3:32

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