LOS ANGELES — Workers were evacuated from an area of a California nuclear power plant Tuesday after an ammonia leak, but there was no immediate danger to the public, the operator said.

The leak occurred in a steam system used to drive the turbines at the San Onofre nuclear plant between Los Angeles and San Diego, said Southern California Edison (SCE), its majority owner.

"As a precaution, the company evacuated employees in the area near where the leak was found," it said in a statement after the incident occurred shortly after 3:00 pm (2200 GMT).

"Other employees remain in other areas of the plant. There's no immediate danger to the public. Those units are operating normally," it added.

San Onofre plant, near San Clemente, California, generates 2,200 megawatts of power, enough to meet the needs of 1.4 million average homes, according to the SCE website.