San Onofre Leak
November 2, 2011 by staff
San Onofre Leak, An ammonia leak at a water treatment system at the San Onofre nuclear power station caused a partial evacuation alert and on site Tuesday, but utility officials insisted that there was never any threat to the public.
The emergency notification came into force at the San Clemente-area of ??the plant at 3 pm, just after the problem was detected, according to Southern California Edison, majority owner of the station. No radioactive material was released, and no injuries were reported, authorities said.
“As a precaution, the company evacuated the employees in the area near where the leak was found,” according to a SCE. “Other employees remain in other areas of the plant. There is no immediate danger to the public. These units are functioning normally.”
The loss of approximately 25 gallons had been held in the afternoon, and the alert was lifted shortly after 6 pm, according to the utility company.
The chemical escaped in a non-nuclear section of the plant, officials said. The safety alert was necessary because the resulting smoke would have prevented access to the facilities, according to Edison.
“The control room is built and fully operational, and the plant is under the power of 100 percent,” the utility said in a statement.
For its part, San Diego County officials responded to the alert activation and its operational area staff Emergency Operations Center, to “be prepared if the situation deteriorates the power plant.”
“All the resources and support staff have been identified and are on standby, ready to be mobilized if necessary”, according to a county.
Updates were made available through a public information hotline by calling 211.
According to the plans pre-existing federal, state and local governments, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission were notified about the accident, according to Edison.
An alert is the second lowest of the four classifications for federal emergencies in commercial nuclear power plants. It is caused by events related to a potential or actual impact on the level of plant safety.
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