Officials at the idled San Onofre nuclear power plant are investigating how coolant mysteriously ended up in an important piece of safety equipment during recent maintenance, and are trying to determine if it was an accident or intentional sabotage, according to federal regulators and the plant’s operator.
Plant officials told regulators on Oct. 30 that they discovered coolant mixed in with oil that helps run an emergency diesel generator in Unit 3, federal and utility officials confirmed Thursday.
“They don’t know right now how the coolant got in there,” said John Reynoso, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector at San Onofre.
Plant operator Southern California Edison said in a statement that it is conducting a “comprehensive internal investigation” into the incident, which it says presented no risk to the public.
“While the investigation has not resulted in any evidence of tampering, that scenario has not been ruled out,” Edison’s statement said.