Fed regulators slap troubled San Onofre plant for security violation

Grant Slater/KPCC

The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant is seen on April 6, 2012. Federal regulators have slapped the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant with a violation for a lapse in plant security.

Federal regulators have slapped the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant with a violation for a lapse in plant security.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said plant operator Southern California Edison failed to develop procedures to monitor electronic devices related to security. The agency did not provide more specific details, citing security regulations.

Southern California Edison reported the problem to the government last year, saying that it was corrected.

The federal regulatory agency said the security violation was evaluated during an NRC inspection last May when officials reviewed plant records, watched operations and interviewed San Onofre employees.

Edison described the violation as having very low security significance and stood by its initial assessment, saying in a statement Thursday that the violation was promptly corrected.

“The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station management and employees are committed to safety, security and regulatory compliance,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Pete Dietrich in a news release. “We corrected this deficiency last year when we discovered it and have implemented best practices for information security to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

The San Onofre nuclear power plant has been shutdown since January because of problems with steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water.

There is no timeline for restarting either of the two plant’s reactors on the coastal border of Orange and San Diego counties.

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