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Plan to cut tube wear falls short at Cal nuke site
Engineers boasted new design would cut tube wear at nuke plant, now shuttered on Calif coast
By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) ' Engineers who installed steam generators at California's San Onofre nuclear plant in 2009 and 2010 set out to avoid the types of ailments that have sidelined its twin reactors for months.

The $670 million overhaul was intended to minimize wear and tear on nearly 40,000 alloy tubes in the massive generators. But the coastal plant between San Diego and Los Angeles has been idle since January, in the midst of a probe into why hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water have eroded rapidly.

Experts for operator Southern California Edison and manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries wrote in a trade publication in January that the modifications would improve the plant's dependability and longevity.

But the opposite happened.

The plant will remain offline until investigators find the cause of the unusual wear.

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