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Ailing California Nuke Plant Has $48M Repair Bill

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The operator of the ailing San Onofre nuclear power plant in California announced Tuesday it has piled up $48 million in inspection and repair costs related to damage to scores of tubes that carry radioactive water.

Financial records released by Edison International, which is the parent company of Southern California Edison, also estimate it will cost $25 million to begin to restart the Unit 2 reactor at reduced power. The company has not submitted a request to federal regulators to restart either of the twin reactors that have been shut down since January.

Additionally, the company has spent $117 million on replacement power.

The figures were included in a report on Edison’s operations between April and June.

The plant is between Los Angeles and San Diego.

The trouble began to unfold in January, when the Unit 3 reactor was shut down as a precaution after a tube break. Traces of radiation escaped at the time, but officials said there was no danger to workers or neighbors. Unit 2 had been taken offline earlier that month for maintenance, but investigators later found unexpected wear on scores of tubes inside both units.

A three-month federal probe blamed a botched computer analysis for generator design flaws that ultimately resulted in excessive wear to scores of alloy tubes. Edison has been trying to determine how to correct the problem, while environmental activists have depicted the plant as a disaster in the making.

About 7.4 million Californians live within 50 miles of San Onofre, which can power 1.4 million homes.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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