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Radiation Leak Discovered in South Korean Nuclear Power Plant

Government officials and nuclear safety experts are investigating the cause of a minor radiation leak at the Yeonggwang Nuclear Power Plant, according to plant officials.

The accident took place at the Yeonggwang No. 5 nuclear power plant, South Jeolla Province, some 250 miles southwest of Seoul, the nation's capital.

An official at the Yeonggwang Nuclear Power Division office said that a radiation leak in a water tank had been detected."We shut down part of the facilities and are investigating what caused the leak."

According to the official, the amount of the leak was not serious and facilites suspected of being exposed to radioactivity were being washed off.

The official said the leakage of coolant into a pipe linked to the reactor might have caused radiation to seep out.

The Yeonggwang No.5 nuclear power plant is a pressurized lightwater reactor and was put into operation in February 2003. South Korea has 18 nuclear power plants which generate some 40 percent of the total electricity the country needs.