A leak at a small nuclear reactor in Halden, Norway, has been contained, according to its operator. No immediate danger to staff or the surrounding environment has occurred.
Atle Valseth, research director at the Institute for Energy Technology, estimated that up to 8 employees were present during the leak. The crew evacuated as soon as the leak was detected and did not receive hospital treatment as the dose they received was low.
Although the incident occurred on Monday, the Norweigian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) was not alerted until the following day. The regulator is investigating the circumstances that caused the leak and the reason for the late warning of the situation.
Located in a mountain cave in southern Norway, the Halden reactor is operated by the Institute for Energy Technology to study nuclear safety issues. The research reactor can produce up to 25 megawatts, a fraction of what nuclear reactors in the bordering country of Sweden can produce.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority did not detect elevated levels of radiation due to the leak. The incident is rated 1 out of 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale and is considered an anomaly.