FILE - This Monday Nov. 3,2008 file photo shows one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach on California's central coast. California coastal regulators were set to weigh in Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 on the utility's contentious plan to map offshore earthquakes faults near a nuclear power plant by blasting loud air cannons. A commission staff report said the work would disturb some 7,000 marine mammals in the region. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)
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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. —
A reactor at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant has been shut down so crews can perform repairs on equipment after a small leak was detected.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said the leak was discovered Wednesday in Unit 1 during routine maintenance, and that it was contained within the plant. The company said no radiation was released.
The company said the leak occurred in equipment that helps manage coolant used to control temperatures within the reactor, and that none of the liquid escaped into the environment. PG&E did not know when the reactor would be brought back online.
Diablo Canyon is the last remaining operating nuclear power plant in California after Southern California Edison announced earlier this month it was closing its San Onofre nuclear plant.
The twin San Onofre reactors -- situated along the Pacific Coast in the densely populated corridor of millions of people between San Diego and Los Angeles -- were the largest to shut down permanently in the U.S. in the past 50 years, federal officials said.
Southern California Edison's decision brought to a sudden end a dispute that began in January 2012, when a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to hundreds of virtually new tubes that carry radioactive water. The plant hasn't produced electricity since then.
Edison had spent more than $500 million on repairs and replacement power and had hoped to restart one reactor this year and run it at reduced power to eliminate the vibrations that had damaged the tubing. But the utility ran into resistance from regulators and also faced various investigations and political opposition.
Ted Craver, chairman of the utility's corporate parent, Edison International, said in a statement that the company concluded that "continuing uncertainty about when or if (the plant) might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors or the need to plan for our region's long-term electricity needs."
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