Title: San Onofre: Hydrogen Gas Leak From Crippled Reactor Exposes Danger of Restart
Source: ENews Park Forest
Date: October 22 2012
Friends of the Earth: Edison must immediately say if leak is radioactive
A reactor at the crippled San Onofre nuclear power plant is leaking hydrogen gas into the environment, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Although it is not yet known if the leaking gas is radioactive, Friends of Earth said the latest trouble at San Onofre is strong evidence that the plant is not safe to restart.
According to a NRC bulletin issued Sunday, an unknown quantity of hydrogen gas was leaking from Reactor 2, which like Reactor 3 has been closed since a leak of radioactive steam in January and the discovery of severely damaged steam generators. The NRC did not say what caused the leak.
“There are critical questions that Edison must answer immediately,” said Damon Moglen, energy and climate director at Friends of the Earth. “Is the leaking hydrogen radioactive? And was the leak caused by heating up the plant’s steam generators in advance preparation for restart? [...]”
This past weekend, Edison was conducting tests that include bringing the reactor to normal operating pressure and temperature, using offsite electrical power. The steam generators will be hot and pressurized. The leak is likely to persist for some days, as the only way to stop such a leak is to depressurize and lower the temperature of the reactor and its coolant system. [...]
Published: October 23rd, 2012 at 11:50 am ET