The nitric acid leak at Nuclear Fuel Services’ (NFS) Erwin, Tennessee, location on Monday, January 9, 2012, may have released 800 gallons of the chemical, reports a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) official.
However, upon further calculation which factored in the dispersion of water, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reduced the number to 300 gallons.
The event at the NFS plant occurred early on Monday, and forced the facility to close for the remainder of the work day.
NFS produces uranium fuel for reactors that power nuclear submarines and ships for the United States Navy.
Officials quickly contained the leak using absorbent devices and containers, such as XSORB Acid Neutralizing Absorbent bags. The product effectively absorbs organic and non-organic compounds and caustic spills.
Organizations need to neutralize chemicals that have the potential to harm the environment and employees. Nitric acid is a potentially harmful chemical solution that can transform into an inhalant when it comes in contact with water. When a nitric acid leak occurs, it is important to immediately clean up the spill before it has the potential of causing further damage to surrounding people.