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Feds To Visit San Onofre After Steam Generator Tubes Fail Stress Test

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(CBS) Tom Reopelle
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SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) — Federal nuclear regulators are set to inspect the San Onofre nuclear plant after several tubes reportedly failed a stress test, officials said Thursday.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports the visit by inspectors with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission comes over six weeks after a leak was reportedly detected in one of the plant’s reactor units.

The team will examine three steam generator tubes in Unit 3 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near the Orange County line.

NRC spokeswoman Lara Uselding said the team will take a closer look at the tubes located in the same unit that was shut down back on Jan. 31 after another leak was found in one of the thousands of tubes that carry radioactive water for heat transfer.

“They’ll be looking at insulation, operation of these steam generators, as well as this testing which is ongoing to really get a thorough understanding of the current condition, which is not expected,” said Uselding.

Investigators are expected to zero in on 129 steam generator tubes out of the 19,454 tubes in Unit 3 due to their signs of excessive wear.

“These generators are rather new, and this level of wear, just unexpected,” Uselding said.

The team is scheduled to arrive on Monday.

Both Units 2 and 3 remain shut down as nuclear officials said there remains no threat to the public.

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