LOS ANGELES (AP) — The operator of California’s troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant on Thursday proposed to restart one of the plant’s twin reactors, more than eight months after the seaside plant was shut down following a break in a tube carrying radioactive water.
A plan to return even one reactor to service is a milestone for Southern California Edison, coming three months after federal regulators found that a botched computer analysis eventually led to excessive wear to hundreds of steam generator tubes inside the plant’s steam generators.
Edison said in a statement it’s filed the proposal with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is expected to take months to review the details. The NRC has said there is no timetable to restart the plant.
“Safety is our top priority and after conducting more than 170,000 inspections to understand and prevent the problem, and confirming the corrective actions we have taken to solve the problem with the top experts from around the world, we have concluded that Unit 2 at San Onofre can be operated safely,” Ron Litzinger, president of SCE, said in a statement.
The announcement is certain to cause fierce blowback from environmental groups and activists that have argued the plant is too damaged to be restarted safely.
About 7.4 million Californians live within 50 miles of San Onofre, which can power 1.4 million homes.
The plant has been shut down since Jan. 31.
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