IRVINE (CBS) — Officials conducted emergency drills at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre nuclear power plant from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.
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There has never been a radiation leak at the 42-year-old facility, but FEMA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission require emergency testing every two years.
More than 200 emergency management officials from across the state will be at the plant, as well as Southern California Edison’s Joint Information Center in Irvine.
Workers will respond to a fake radioactive gas leak by testing emergency shutdown procedures and securing fuel rods.
Residents should not be alarmed when emergency sirens are intermittently sounded between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Tuesday’s drills come as Japan increases the threat level of the disaster at the Fukushima power plant from a 5 to a 7 – the highest level on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Scale. The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 was also a 7.