Ailing San Onofre plant prepares to remove fuel

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San Onofre nuclear power plant

San Onofre nuclear power plant (AP Photo)

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) – The operator of the San Onofre nuclear power plant is preparing to pull the radioactive fuel from one of its two shuttered reactors, another sign the Southern California plant won’t be operating at full capacity anytime soon, if ever.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission senior inspector Gregory Warnick told The Associated Press on Monday that the fuel in the Unit 3 reactor will be moved into storage in mid-September.

The plant located between Los Angeles and San Diego has been shut down since January, after a break in a tube that carries radioactive water. That problem led to investigations that revealed widespread damage to tubing in both reactors.

Operator Southern California Edison has said it’s focusing on repairing the less-damaged Unit 2 reactor. There’s still no timetable for its possible restart.

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