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NRC Faults Edison For San Onofre Nuclear Plant Leak

But Called Leak ‘Very Low Safety Significance’

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
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Above: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission report Friday faults plant operator Southern California Edison for failing to follow its own procedures at the twin-reactor site in San Diego County.

The report says the problem at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station had "very low safety significance."

"As a member of the nuclear energy industry, we always conduct a root cause analysis after any incident," said Gil Alexander, a spokesman for Southern California Edison. "Our analysis found the same contributing factors as the NRC. We agree with their determination that this was a very low-safety-significant event. Safety is the number one priority at the plant and we already have mitigation plans in place."

But watchdog groups have criticized the company for not alerting the public for more than an hour after the Nov. 1 leak started in a storage tank.

Some workers were evacuated but there was no public danger.

Meanwhile, the company is investigating a leak in a steam generator tube, as well as unusual wear in hundreds of tubes in the second plant.

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