Upstate N.Y. nuclear plant shut because of gas leak

A nuclear power plant leaked radiation into the atmosphere Monday in a metropolitan area of nearly a million people, forcing shutdown of the plant and evacuation of workers. Utility officials declared a nuclear alert.

The Rochester Gas & Electric Company said that ''no significant radiation levels'' were detected after the leak at the Ginna nuclear power plant except at one point in the immediate perimeter of the facility. A utility official said the radiation level in that reading was ''not considered dangerous.'' Officials for the utility and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said radioactive steam from a ruptured tube was released into the atmosphere through an open vent. The vent was plugged shortly after the leak was discovered Monday morning. The plant was shut down and evacuated.

The NRC dispatched a team of experts to the site to evaluate the extent of the radiation release.

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