Alert Declared, Canceled Following Ammonia Leak at San Onofre Nuclear Plant

For a little more than three hours, Southern California Edison declared an alert at its San Onofre Nuclear Plant Tuesday after a valve in an ammonia tank leaked.

San Onofre nuclear plant. Source: NRCAccording to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission event report, the plant entered alert status at 2:50 p.m., local time, when the leak prevented personnel from entering certain parts of the facility. The turbine building of unit 3 was evacuated when crews found ammonia flowing from a faulty valve connecting a tank to the demineralizer system. About 25 gallons of ammonium hydroxide spilled within a bermed area and was cleaned up shortly thereafter.

Neither of the two operating units at San Onofre shut down, and both were at 100 percent power during the event. Orange County emergency managers said the leak did not pose a threat to the public.

Southern California Edison operates two roughly 1070 megawatt Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors at the site 46 miles south of Long Beach, Calif., according to the NRC.

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