Fuel will be removed from crippled Calif. reactor

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San Onofre Nuclear Plant
San Onofre sits on the coast north of San Diego

The operator of a shuttered Southern California nuclear plant is preparing to remove radioactive fuel from one of the twin reactors, yet another sign that the unit won’t be repowered any time soon.

Southern California Edison plans to transfer fuel from the crippled Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre power plant to an on-site spent fuel pool, where the material will be cooled and monitored.

The plant, about 60 miles north of San Diego, has been closed since a January radiation leak in the Unit 3 steam generator.

Degraded tubes were also found in the Unit 2 generator, and officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission revealed in June that multiple tubes carrying radioactive water were at risk of rupture.

Although Southern California Edison has said it hopes to restart Unit 2 in the coming months, the company said in a statement yesterday that it doesn’t expect Unit 3 to operate “in the near future” because tubes connected to the reactor’s steam generator were more severely worn. (Greenwire, 8-29-2012)