LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal regulators have signaled that running California's San Onofre nuclear power plant at reduced power would not pose a significant safety risk.
The preliminary ruling Wednesday from Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff represents an important step for operator Southern California Edison, which is pushing to restart the Unit 2 reactor by summer.
The plant between Los Angeles and San Diego has been idle since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to tubes that carry radioactive water.
In the tentative ruling, the NRC staff agrees that running the reactor at no more than 70 percent power would not significantly increase the risk of any accident.
The issue represents one of a series of steps Edison must meet with the NRC, which oversees safety.
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