"Feds Probe Equipment Failure at Calif. Nuke Plant"

"A nuclear reactor on the California coast will remain shut down indefinitely while a team of federal inspectors determines why several relatively new tubes became so frail that tests found they could rupture and release radioactive water, a federal official said Thursday."

"'This is a significant issue,' said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Lara Uselding. 'A tube rupture is really the concern. ... That's what we don't want to happen.'

Underscoring concern over the test findings, the NRC dispatched a special team to the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, located about 45 miles north of San Diego. The plant was shut down as a precaution on Jan. 31, after a radioactive water leak in another tube in a massive steam generator. Traces of radiation escaped, but officials say there was no danger to workers or neighbors."

Michael R. Blood reports for the Associated Press March 15, 2012.

Source: AP, 03/16/2012