MOSCOW (AP) - Workers at a Russian nuclear power plant on Tuesday detected higher than normal radiation levels in soil on the plant's territory, a spokesman for Russia's state nuclear power company said.
The radiation appeared to have come from a leaking water pipe attached to the cooling system of two reactors at the Novovoronezh plant, about 300 miles south of Moscow. The reactors have been out of service for a decade.
Rosenergoatom spokesman Konstantin Romburger could not say how high the radiation level was, but he said it did not pose a danger to surrounding areas. Still, authorities sealed off the area with barbed wire and posted signs about the radiation risk while a commission studied the cause of the leak, he said.
Romburger could not immediately say when the radiation leak occurred or how large an area was contaminated.
Three other reactors at the plant were operating normally on Tuesday, he said.
Small malfunctions are common at Russian nuclear power plants. Officials reported 53 minor breakdowns or malfunctions at Russia's 22 working nuclear reactors during the first nine months of this year. It was not clear how many had resulted in radiation leaks.