Nuclear Spill Leads To Federal Lawsuit

Nuclear Spill Leads To Federal Lawsuit

A federal class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 14,000 Illinois residents who may be affected by the Exelon Corp. tritium wastewater spill at the Braidwood nuclear plant. The suit alleges that Exelon Corp. was negligent in their duty to safely monitor pipelines from the plant, to ensure the wellbeing of surrounding residents.

The federal suit, which was filed in a Chicago U.S. District Court is ordering that medical testing, bottled water, and any property damage resulting from the tritium spill be covered by Exelon funding.

Tritium has been proven to increase the risk for birth defects, genetic damage and cancer. Exposure to the nuclear substance is possible through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin.

This is not the first harmful leak to be reported by Exelon, according to records. In 1998, 3 million gallons of contaminated water were released into the ground due to a pipe leak. In 2000, an additional leak was reported also involving tritium contaminated water southwest of Chicago.

“Our clients feel that after the first spill in 1996, Exelon should have immediately taken corrective measures and informed the community of the accident. Instead of fixing the problem, Exelon allowed more leaks to happen and covered up their actions until they were forced to disclose these radioactive releases.”

According to an Exelon representative however, there was not delay in the disclosure of information and the company acted in a suitable manner to inform residents of the circumstance.

“None of the plaintiffs are alleging any health-related effects or environmental impacts on their property. They haven’t made any claims in the lawsuit of drinking water contamination or personal injury. It doesn’t claim any radiological standards were violated or that any reporting requirements were violated,” spokesperson Craig Nesbit commented on behalf of Exelon.

The lawsuit was “completely without merit”, he added.

Despite Exelon’s contradictory beliefs regarding the suit, the company has offered to fund bottled drinking water and compensate individuals only in cases of proven damage. Exelon maintains that the tritium levels found in groundwater outside of the plant are not dangerous.

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