[UPDATED with Normal Ops Resumed:] San Onofre Nuclear Plant “Non-Radioactive” Leak Prompts Evacuation

UPDATE, NOV. 2, 8:15 A.M.: Before we tell you normal operations have resumed at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) and the county has deactivated its Emergency Operations Center, has anyone suggested the incident was a heavenly prank pulled by recently crossed no-nuker Jeanie Bernstein?

No? Just me?

Normal ops resumed around 6 p.m. Tuesday, and the plug was pulled on the county emergency center three hours later.

Non-radioactive ammonia began leaking around 3 p.m. Tuesday in a make-up water-treatment system in a
non-nuclear part of the facility, according to Southern California Edison, the SONGS operator.

As a precautionary measure, some
workers were evacuated, er, removed from two buildings. None left the actual site, and the plant's two units operated normally throughout the day, SCE says.

The public was never threatened, according to a county emergency alert. 

UPDATE, NOV. 1, 5:57 P.M.: Perhaps because the words “evacuated”
and “San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station” in the same sentence spread
panic, the County of Orange is now clarifying that workers were
“removed” from two SONGS buildings where non-radioactive ammonia leaked
this afternoon, adding “but site evacuations were not necessary.” The
county emergency center reiterates, “There is no need for the public to

Besides the phone book section and website below that people can check for more safety information, the county says its Public Information Hotline is staffed to answer questions at 714.628.7085. Only call 9-1-1 if you have a life-threatening emergency, an updated county alert adds.

The county also suggests keeping tabs of radio and television reports on the SONGS incident.

ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 1, 5:30 P.M.: Workers were evacuated from San Onofre
Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) as a precautionary measure around 3
p.m. today following a leak of non-radioactive ammonia. The leak was
contained to two buildings, and no injuries were reported.

The surrounding public was not evacuated as this was considered a “low-level” emergency.

The event did prompt the County of Orange to activate an emergency hotline and operations center.

“There is no danger to the public at this time, and the public is not being asked to take any protective action,” reads a county alert.

It adds that now would be a good time for residents to review the nuclear information section in the “Customer Guide” of South County AT&T phone books. Those interested can also visit SONGScommunity.com.

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