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Contaminated Material Left South Carolina Nuclear Site

January 7, 2005

Low-level contamination has been found on some equipment used to replace a steam generator at the Oconee Nuclear Station near Seneca, South Carolina.

Dayle Stewart, spokeswoman for the Oconee Nuclear Station said that workers at a nuclear plant in Arkansas and a contractor in Texas found contamination on equipment used to replace the steam generator in Oconee Unit Three. Officials at Oconee say the equipment had been cleaned.

The unit is back to full power after a refueling and maintenance outage.

Duke Power and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported the contamination as minor and posed no health risks.

A nuclear watchdog group calls the contamination unneeed radiation exposure. Michael Mariotte with the Nuclear Information Service in Washington says even small contamination can cause problems.