SCE plays down reports of terrorist threat to California nuclear plant

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 9, 2002 — A 43-year-old former employee of Southern California Edison, who was terminated last month from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, has been arrested after allegedly making threatening comments against employees of the plant.

But SCE said it is unaware of any evidence indicating that he made so-called "terrorist" threats against the plant itself as some media have reported.

Local authorities have found a cache of weapons at both the former employee's home and at a nearby storage facility, which he rented. SCE, which operates the plant in north San Diego County, has not released the name of the former maintenance mechanic, but has issued the following statement on the matter.

SCE said it is cooperating with authorities in the investigation, but stressed that despite his alleged threatening comments directed at employees at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, at no time was the security of the plant threatened.

The comments by the 43-year-old male maintenance mechanic were made off-site.

Meanwhile, SCE management is communicating with its employees to apprise them of the situation and to reassure them of the security and safety of the plant.

SCE continues to maintain a heightened security alert, in effect 24 hours a day at the plant, since Sept. 11.

An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.

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