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Cooling tower woes continue at plant

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has been reduced to 55 percent power after another problem with one of its cooling towers.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says three sections of the plant’s east cooling tower were found to be leaking Tuesday night, forcing the tower to be shut down and the plant to reduce power.

Vermont Yankee spokesman Robert Williams says it appears that the leak of about 60 gallons per minute was a result of faulty packing material in an expansion joint and was not related to structural problems in the towers.

A section of the plant’s west cooling tower collapsed in 2007, with new problems cropping up this July.

From wire dispatches and staff reports