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San Onofre nuke plant set for (yet another) special inspection

July 30, 2008 |  5:01 pm

San_onofre_scares_me A series of electrical problems that could affect crucial backup systems at the San Onofre nuclear plant have prompted yet another inspection by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, our own Elizabeth Douglass reports.

The visit next week by a three-person team marks the third special inspection in the last 12 months for the coastal facility south of San Clemente.

"We are concerned about the number of failures and want to take a look at the way the licensee has responded to the issue," said Elmo E. Collins, the commission's regional administrator for states in the West and southern Midwest.

In March, Edison workers found a loose electrical connection on an emergency battery that rendered it inoperable, commission spokesman Victor Dricks said. The batteries are part of the plant's backup power system, which kicks in during an emergency to keep the control room and safety systems functioning.

The whole thought of ongoing problems at a nuke plant just plain scares me, so here's hoping Round Three with the inspectors brings about results. And so I'm not all alone in feeling uneasy, may I please share with you that a previous investigation found that an employee faked records saying workers had made hourly fire inspections when actually they had not? All that and more in the full story here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Don Tormey / Los Angeles Times