Calif. utility retreats on nuke-monitor capability

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Associated Press

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 3:01 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The utility that runs the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant has backed away from an earlier claim that a retooled monitoring system would be an important safety advance to help open the way for a restart.

Federal documents say Southern California Edison had said the redesigned system — which relies on monitors to detect vibrations inside the plant's steam generators — could help detect a break in a tube that carries radioactive water.

Edison officials faced sharp questioning about the monitors from federal regulators Tuesday.

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission official says the equipment could not do the job described by the company.

Edison consultant Mike Short says the company "had not intended" to characterize the system as an important safeguard.

Edison has proposed restarting the Unit 2 reactor.

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