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Troubled Southern Calif. nuclear power plant remains offline until safety requirements met

(Xinhua)

08:37, March 29, 2012

LOS ANGELES, March 27 (Xinhua) -- A troubled nuclear power generating plant in southern California will not resume its operation until all safety requirements are met, the operator said in a statement on Tuesday.

Southern California Edison (SCE) confirmed that it has received the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Confirmatory Action Letter outlining actions it must complete at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station before seeking permission from the commission to restart two troubled units.

Officials committed themselves to working with the watchdog to fulfil all requirements before restarting the plant, an 84-acre (34 ha) site on the Pacific coast.

The SCE "will proceed deliberately and conservatively to implement these steps, always bearing in mind that safety is our first priority," the operator said in a prepared statement.

"We welcome the NRC's letter, which is a formal step in the process of restarting Units 2 and 3," said Ron Litzinger, president of the SCE said. "Our number one priority is, and always has been, the health and safety of the public and our employees. The utility will only bring the units on line when we and the NRC are satisfied that it is safe to do so."

Unit 3 has been shut down since Jan. 31 when it was taken off line as a precautionary measure after sensors detected a radioactive steam leak in one of the unit's steam generator tubes. Unit 2 was taken out of service for a routine maintenance on Jan. 9.

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