Virtual tour of San Onofre power plant now online - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Virtual tour of San Onofre power plant now online

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SAN ONOFRE (CNS) - A virtual tour of the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County has been uploaded to the Internet, according to its operator.

The production, which focuses on safety issues, is on SONGSCommunity.com, according to Southern California Edison. SONGS is an acronym for the plant's official name.

It uses audio and video to explain containment domes, the seawall and emergency diesel generators. The tour is available in English and Spanish.

"A nuclear plant doesn't have many tours open to the public for safety and security reasons," said Pete Dietrich, senior vice president of SCE and chief nuclear officer. "But with this virtual tour, our community members, our customers and anyone around the world can come inside the plant and understand what the facility does and how it works."

The plant has been inoperative since a leak was discovered in one of its two nuclear reactors at the end of January. A small amount of radioactivity was released, but no one was hurt.

The other reactor was shut down at the time for scheduled maintenance.

The virtual tour is part of ongoing efforts by the utility to inform and educate the public about the plant and repairs, corrective actions and a proposal to restart and operate Unit 2, where the leak occurred. Engineers and community liaisons are also conducting open houses in several communities in the region and are available to speak to groups upon request.

The plant, 20 percent of which is owned by San Diego Gas & Electric, won't be able to resume operations until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gives its approval.

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