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Officials at the plant declared the area would be on alert following the leak. Federal authorities conducted an investigation and ruled that the incident did not threaten the safety of the public.
The leak was detected during routine maintenance inside an auxiliary facility serving one of the nuclear reactors. Officials had taken the necessary precautions, including installing a toxic gas detector, to ensure that any potential incident would be handled safely and efficiently.
"This is all about precautionary equipment doing its job," said Ike Pigott, a spokesman for Alabama Power, the owner of the power plant. He claimed that the amount of gas would be the equivalent to the volume released from a fire extinguisher.
The alert lasted for approximately five hours, with the reactors and plant remaining active throughout. The warning issued was the second lowest of four emergency classifications that federal regulators use.
The power plant is one of three nuclear facilities that provide about 20 percent of the electricity used in Alabama and Georgia.
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