No timetable for California Nuclear plant restart

May 9, 2012

Nuclear regulators said Monday there is no time line for restarting the San Onofre nuclear plant as regulators try to determine the cause of unusual wear on hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water, according to a statement by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko. [SacramentoBee]

The twin reactor plant, which sets on the Southern California coastline, has been offline for more than three months. In January, investigators discovered the tubing had been eroding at an unexpected rate, and the plant was shut down.

Jaczko made his statement just days after executives at the plant informed investors of a possible June restart. Jaczko said in April that a clear understanding of the tubes excessive wear is needed before either reactor is restarted, which requires federal approval.

Cost related to the extended shutdown are slated to run over $100 million. In addition, state officials have warned that the shutdown could lead to rolling blackouts in Southern California. The plant powers approximately 1.4 million homes.



  1. amusselm says:

    There’s a real story here, and it doesn’t have much of anything to do with radiation or the safety of the plant.

    Why are a set of steam generators that are almost brand new failing? And, what recourse does Southern California Edison have with the manufacturer of these steam generators? After all, SCE already invested millions into these steam generators… One would hope that they have a good warranty.

    • bobfromsanluis says:

      You have an interesting interpretation of the reporting; from the Sacramento Bee article: ” … where investigators are trying to determine the cause of unusual wear on hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water.” Later in the article: “The integrity of complex machinery inside the seaside plant has come under close scrutiny since investigators found that tubing that snakes through massive steam generators eroded at an unexpected rate, in some cases rapidly.” So I noticed the words “radioactive water” and the phrase “snakes through the massive steam generators” ; it seems like the article indicates that while radiation may not be the cause of the problem, the fact that the tubes are carrying radioactive water cannot be ruled out as a potential cause of the problem, and, I don’t see the article saying that the steam generators are the problem, but that the tubes running through the generators. So, are you sure of your assertions?

  2. bobfromsanluis says:

    Wow, ” … are slated to run over $100 million.” But, but, but, nuclear energy was going to be so cheap to produce we wouldn’t even need to meter the electricity, or some other nonsense was being babbled when the whole idea of using nuclear power to boil water as a means of generating electricity was first being discussed. “Tay” as the first one to make a comment on this thread put some ideas about what to do with facility, and no, the ideas are not “crazy”. Let’s put as much money into research and development for renewable energy production as we have put into nuclear and fossil fuels, and we can solve our energy production problem very quickly, I’m sure.

    • Robert1 says:

      pie in the sky – “Let’s put as much money into research and development for renewable energy production as we have put into nuclear and fossil fuels, and we can solve our energy production problem very quickly, I’m sure.” if that was the case then it would have happened. Most if not all experts agree that there is no “one ” answer to the very complex problem but many needs to support our energy requirements including nuclear.

  3. Tay says:

    Here’s a novel idea. Why not take the money needed to rebuild an outdated, radiation producing terrorist target and build something sustainable? I know right crazy idea! Sewage digesters, solar, wind turbines or HELL even some or that crazy wave power from the ocean! But alas this is just the rantings of a crazy person. :(

    • ds_gray says:

      OK, great. You go do that. Find some investors, like SCE did for San Onofre, and go fund your Pollyanna sewage digester to power the Greater Los Angeles area..

      Oh, and by the way, did you read the stat in the article about the San Onofre plant providing power for 1.4 MILLION homes? There is not a single ‘alternative’ energy project that can come close to that service level, in scope, in scalability or cost effectiveness. It would take a solar farm the size of LA to power LA.

      Nuke plants of this size and complexity are expensive propositions, because of technology and bureaucracy. The $100 million is probably a combination of lost revenue due to offline time and costs associated with meeting regulatory hurdles to get the plant re-certified for full power operation.

    • Tay says:

      Since not everyone obviously gets it I was being facetious. And no we need no research we only need developmant. Whole towns in the midwest are energy independent from the rest of the world. The sewage digesters provide plenty of electricity plus cut down on their waste problem. They make their own gas from corn and beets. These technologies are not some “idea” cooked up by kooks in their basement they are working viable technologies that ,if this pulled it head out of it butt, would save it from itself. Since ALL of the radiation storage facilities in the nation are filled to a dangerous over capacity and there are no plans for new ones and the transportation of such caustic substances are nearly impossible to transport down any street or highway due to some litigation. Where would you propose we put the waste?

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