Things are Tough All Over for San Onofre Nuclear Plant

Perhaps you've heard the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ordered the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) to remain shut down until plant operator Southern California Edison (SCE) can satisfy the feds that it knows why tubes wore out in two steam generators recently and that it has a handle on how to prevent that from happening again.

The Friends of the Earth claim they already know why, however.

According to a San Clemente Patch report, the environmental group hired a nuclear energy consultant to analyze the plant's most-recent failure, in January. Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates concluded that SCE installed the $671-million steam generators in 2010 without informing federal regulators about a key design switch, avoiding an NRC inspection. Gundersen's report, which was sent on to the NRC, claims the switch causes the tubes to vibrate, and friction from the vibration spurs the unusual wear to relatively new tubes.

In the same Patch piece, an Edison spokeswoman denies the energy giant tried to pull a fast one on the NRC and maintains all upgrades to Units 2 and 3, which received the new steam generators, have been done with public safety in mind.

But SCE is getting it from all sides lately when it comes to the plant that generates power for 14 million Californians. The Irvine City Council voted Tuesday night to have city staff draft a letter calling for the decommissioning of SONGS. The councils of Laguna Beach and San Clemente previously passed resolutions demanding safer and more secure waste storage. San Clemente also recently voted to request public updates about radiation levels near the plant.


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10 comments
Kaonashi
Kaonashi

Live in Japan (southern part) and still pro-nuclear and hope to Buddha that they get this right - and not just that, that they are forthright with how they screwed up.  The biggest lessons of 3/11 are two: that humans rely too much on nuclear energy to give it up; and that nuclear issues are no longer some state secret but the property of mankind as a whole.  

Let it out and let us all learn from this.  

Scrubhugger
Scrubhugger

SCE may generate power for 14 million Californians, but there is no way SONGS does.

JRGordonJr
JRGordonJr

Right now, electrical prices are through the roof in SoCal, and for our money, we get some of the least reliable service in the Country. along with natural gas and renewables, San Onofre is an important part of the equation for creating sustainable, reliable, affordable, and clean energy for SoCal. Right now, Edison is having to replace the power San Onofre would normally generate with power from AZ. This is expensive and needs to end as soon as possible.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

I'm pro-nuclear, but the Edison guys are a circus act.  I wonder if any of their top brass live within 50 miles of the plant?

Cbksk
Cbksk

There are a few citations needed with those wild assertions.

Natural gas is exceptionally cheap right now. 

John
John

Are you running for city council in San Clemente?

JRGordonJr
JRGordonJr

The U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes information on electrical rates here: http://www.eia.gov/electricity...

Natural gas is cheap right now, but it is also only sold on local markets. But ss technology is quickly coming online that will make natural gas a commodity that can be sold globally and shipped overseas, that will change. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/... Further, cheap natural gas has not translated into cheap electricity for CA the way it has elsewhere, but that's a whole new set of issues.

JRGordonJr
JRGordonJr

Now look at whose wild assertions need a few citations.

Cbksk
Cbksk

You fundamentally don't understand energy and CA energy policy.   CA pays high per unit costs but uses much less energy than the rest of the states for total bills comparable to the other states.

SCE's fuel proceeding (ERRA) is pending and will reduce costs.

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