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San Onofre plant problems may cause power shortage this summer

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is shown in this undated file photo.
March 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Problems at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station could mean power shortages this summer.

State regulators say the indefinite shutdown of two nuclear reactors at the plant could lead to shortages with the onset of an extended heat wave, unless steps are taken to fill the gap.

Analysts say a meeting is planned to outline a series of possible steps to avoid blackouts. They're said to include bringing in electric generators on barges, restarting retired power plants or urging consumer conservation.

Investigators at the plant are trying to determine why hundreds of alloy tubes in massive steam generators are wearing down at an alarming rate. The reactors are operated by Southern California Edison, and 19 percent of power used by SCE customers comes from nuclear generation.

The plant is owned by Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and the city of Riverside. Southern California Edison serves nearly 14 million residents with electricity in Central and Southern California.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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