California nuclear plant may have leaked radioactive gas.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reporting that a “small” amount of radioactive gas may have leaked at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California.

The San Onofre plant is on the Pacific Ocean coast near San Clemente north of San Diego. It consists of two units, No. 2 and No. 3. No. 1 was shut down permanently in 1992. It is one of two nuclear plants that generate electricity in Southern California; the other is the Diablo Canyon plant in San Luis Obispo County.

The Unit 3 reactor at the plant was shut down Tuesday night after a possible leak was detected in one of the unit’s steam generator tubes.  The company and federal regulators say the release would not have posed a safety risk for the public, but we’ve heard that before (can you say TEPCO/Fukushima/the Japanese government one year ago?) so we will keep an eye on this one.

Unit No. 2 at San Onofre was already offline for maintenance and refueling.  In September, the failure of a major tranmission line between Arizona and California caused the Onofre reactors to go offline automatically.

And folks carry on about renewables being unreliable.