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Public To Weigh In On Plan To Restart San Onofre Nuclear Plant

DANA POINT ( — Federal regulators will hold a public meeting in Dana Point Tuesday to seek input on plans to bring the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station back online.

Southern California Edison submitted a proposal to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) last week to restart one of its two power generators at 70 percent power for a trial period of five months, followed by inspections and another shutdown.

Edison's Jennifer Manfre told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO any steps would be taken with an abundance of caution.

"It's an added measure just to make sure that we can then go in and see what has happened inside and if there's any additional tube wear," said Manfre. "It's really just an extra level of safety."

The San Onofre plant has been closed since January because of excessive wear to tubes that carry radioactive water. A three-month federal probe blamed a botched computer analysis for generator design flaws that ultimately resulted in heavy wear to the alloy tubing.

While NRC officials have cautioned the plant has "several months of work ahead of it" before any decision can be made to restart its generators, some residents are concerned that unsafe tube conditions may pose a public threat.

Local anti-nuclear activist Donna Gilmore said officials still have few options when it comes to determining whether the tubes could pose any risk.

"The only way you can tell a generator isn't working is that it starts leaking radiation," said Gilmore. "They have no technology to know otherwise."

Tonight's NRC meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and will be streamed live on the NRC website.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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