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Generator at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant shut down

Generator at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant shut down
Gulls fly over the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in Avila Beach. The plant shut down one of its two generators after an electrical arc that apparently was sparked during a storm, a Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman ... (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)

A nuclear power plant in Avila Beach shut down one of its two generators after an electrical arc that apparently was sparked during a storm, a utility spokeswoman said Monday night.

Unit 2 at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant went offline automatically Sunday morning as rain fell along the Central Coast, Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman Kristin Inman said.

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"The system performed as designed and automatically went offline to protect equipment," PG&E said in as statement.

Inman said a preliminary investigation shows that the arc resulted from a buildup of dust that mixed with moisture on a lightning arrestor. The arrestor is on the non-nuclear side of the plant, the utility said in its statement.

The unit will remain offline until a full investigation is conducted and the lightning arrestor is fixed and tested. "Unit 1 is still operating safely at 100% power and there should be no affect on customers," Inman said.

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