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Inspectors Get First Shot At Tests After Radiation Leak At San Onofre Nuclear Plant

SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) — Safety inspectors at the San Onofre nuclear power plant have begun installing equipment that will help them determine what may have caused a small radiation leak.

KNX 1070's Tom Reopelle reports the Unit 3 reactor has cooled down after the leak was discovered in a tube that carries radioactive water.


Nuclear regulatory officials warned that a "very, very low level of radioactivity" may have been released into the atmosphere in the wake of the leak on Feb. 1.

Gil Alexander, a spokesman for Southern California Edison, which operates the facility along the coastline near the San Diego (5) Freeway, said one way to determine what was behind the leak is to put the tubes under water pressure.

"The leak stopped the very day we discovered it, so we would recreate the circumstances and look for the leak that way," Alexander said.

Other technologies can also allow inspectors to "look through the walls of the tubes and find imperfections in that way", he added.

The leak sparked a health scare among residents and activists alike, and Alexander said the investigation will be a slow and methodical process in order to stop such a leak from reoccurring.

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