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02 November 2011

HAZMAT in USA on Wednesday, 02 November, 2011 at 03:46 (03:46 AM) UTC.

A level 3 emergency was declared at the San Onofre nuclear plant Tuesday due to an ammonia leak in a steam system, utility officials confirmed. The emergency was declared at about 3 p.m., but no radiation was released and no protective action is needed at this time, according to San Diego County officials. The alert was declared because of an apparent ammonia leak in the steam system used to drive the plant's turbines, according to Southern California Edison, which operates the plant. The utility insisted there is no danger to the public, and both reactors are operating normally. San Onofre notified the County of San Diego at 6:30 p.m. that the ALERT at the plant had been cancelled. The onsite emergency response team at San Onofre contained the release. The leak had no impact on radioactive material/cooling units, officials said. A spokesperson said that at no time was the plant's safety or structure compromised. Officials believe no nuclear material has been leaked. Officials told Fox 5's sister station, KTLA-TV, that sirens sounded inside the plant and an emergency operation center was activated as a precaution. Area residents were urged to monitor local media for updates. Southern California Edison issued the following statement:

At approximately 3pm Pacific Daylight Time, Southern California Edison declared an alert based on identifying an ammonia leak in the steam system used to drive the plants turbines. The leak is in Unit 3's steam system. As a precaution, the company evacuated employees in the area near where the leak was found. Other employees remain in other areas of the plant. There is no immediate danger to the public. Both units are operating normally.

San Diego County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has asked anyone requesting additional information regarding the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station to call the 211 hotline, unless there is a life-threatening emergency.