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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.

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

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