Eva Knott 4:04 a.m., May 23
Southern California Edison has powered up the steam generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in order to conduct testing on upgrades completed last January before the minor radiation leak at the plant’s Unit 3 reactor idled both units indefinitely, Power Engineering magazine reports.
The steam is being provided via a diesel generator and not a nuclear source, and is not being used to generate power at the plant, though the generator tubes, many of which were discovered to have suffered premature wear during recent inspections, will reach full operating pressure during the seven-day test period.
Plant operator Edison currently has a plan under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume power generation at up to 70% of capacity, though any decision by the Commission is still months away.
Meanwhile, employees at the plant are working to repair a hydrogen leak that was first discovered on Sunday morning. A Commission inspector described the leak as “very small,” and says it presents no immediate threat to the plant, workers, or the surrounding community.