San Onofre nuclear power plant shutting down

June 7, 2013

San_Onofre_Nuclear_Power_Plant_t700The distressed San Onofre nuclear power plant is shutting down.

Southern California Edison announced Friday it will retire the Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactors and lay off approximately 1,000 employees.

San Onofre has not generated any electricity since January 31, 2012, when officials discovered an 82 gallon per day fluid leakage in the Unit 3 replacement generator. Unit 2 was undergoing a refueling outage at the time of the shutdown. The third reactor, Unit 1, has been decommissioned since 1992.

Upon shutdown, San Onofre officials discovered higher than expected tube wear in the replacement generators of both reactors. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries report determined that tube wear from contact with other tubes, anti-vibration bars and retainer bars in the Unit 3 replacement steam generator caused the leakage.

Ted Craver, Chairman and CEO of Edison International, parent company of SCE, said the uncertainty about when and if the plant might return to service was not good for its customers and investors.

Southern California Edison also announced plans to pursue recovery of damages from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the supplier of the replacement steam generators, as well as recovery of amounts under applicable insurance policies.




  1. Jorge Estrada says:

    How about constructing a solar power plant on the U.S. Mexican Border and provided employment for the endangered Mexicans. I can just see the training, repeat after me, electricidad.

    (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
  2. Pelican1 says:

    The citizens of this state are faced with a real dilemma. We have aging nuclear power plants suffering from deferred maintenance, located in questionable geologic areas built from seemingly faulty material,
    while at the same time the coastal steam generating plants are shutting down in part due to entrainment, solar and wind farms are destroying endangered species habitat, and as fracking is being heavily frowned upon, some hydroelectric dams are being considered for demolition.
    I wonder what the future holds for California…the NOT so golden state.

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
    • Latte2Party says:

      Look at the stories about how fast Japan is going solar, with new incentives, since they got Fukushimaed. And Europe, with their climate, has gone heavily into solar as a host of countries are completely phasing out nuclear power.
      To quote: “Austria was the first country to begin a phase-out (in 1978) and has been followed by Sweden (1980), Italy (1987), Belgium (1999), and Germany (2000). Austria and Spain have gone as far as toenact laws not to build new nuclear power stations. Several other European countries have debated phase-outs.”

      (-4) 14 Total Votes - 5 up - 9 down
      • mbactivist1 says:

        There is definitely a message here. It seems that the Europeans are always first to take important actions to protect public health and safety, and the rest of us come trailing along behind them. Perhaps that is because they believe that public welfare is more important than arranging for big corporations to make obscene profits at the expense of everyone else. Perhaps it is because they believe that the futures of their children and grandchildren are more important than the dubious pleasures of conspicuous consumption. Maybe it’s both.

        (2) 14 Total Votes - 8 up - 6 down
  3. r0y says:

    Let the lawsuits fly! Wheeeee! I’m sure the SCE customers will benefit from this!

    Nuclear energy is definitely a dual-edged sword. Our society’s demands for electricity can really only be met by nuclear, but the risks of a nuclear plant (along with costs, etc) make burning something else seems better.

    Consume less / burn less… wish we could, but here I am on an electronic forum trying to wrestle with the reality that we should try to consume less energy.

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      I agree Roy. There are a lot of people that think with their hearts and not there heads that will take glee from this. I see it as a lose lose all the way around.

      At this point it is a basket case and I see no other choices but for those that will want to be gleeful think about this, you will have a HUGE hole in electrical generation. So plan on CA. continuing to pay high electrical rates. You will now have 1000 more people on the unemployment line in a state that has had high unemployment in recent years. And these aren’t no Micky D’s minimum wage jobs. These are heads of household jobs. Also these people won’t take their money and spend elsewhere. It WILL have a trickle down affect.

      Again a big bummer all the way around.

      (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
      • celebratepaso says:

        CA will always pay high electrical rates. It’s just a fact. We live in one of the most expensive states in the country. Do we really need San Onofre? No. They haven’t operated for the past few summers now and we’ve had no black-outs yet we’ve experienced record heat.

        (-5) 11 Total Votes - 3 up - 8 down
        • pasowino says:

          It’s only been one summer without it. We haven’t “needed” San Onofre to keep the lights on, but since we had essentially no rain this winter (and no snow pack), and the economy is starting to show a pulse, the increased demand and reduced hydro availability will make it close this summer. We probably won’t see rolling blackouts, but the CAISO will have to go out on the spot market (expensive) to purchase power that San Onofre would have provided (cheap).

          (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
      • R.Hodin says:

        As if having San Onofre running has kept electricity rates low! There’s nothing for SDG&E raepayers to celebrate when their utility has utterly thrown away 500 Million of thier ratepayer dollars in a routine upgrade that was bungled so badly that it’s less risky to close the plant rather than to replace the generators again, but this time having the stockholders pick up the tab. The name of the game in the utility industry is to sock it to the ratepayers while making it as difficult as possible for them to switch to another power source.

        Will the sheeple pay attention? Will they insist on a decentralized power option? Now is the perfect time to weaken the stranglehold of the utilities.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  4. TacomaRose says:

    When I read stuff like the excerts printed below I can’t help but gey a bit nervous.

    San Onofre commissioned 1968 …

    The San Onofre station, like virtually all large, complex industrial projects, has had technical problems over the years. In the July 12, 1982 edition of Time states, “The firm Bechtel was embarrassed in 1977, when it installed a 420-ton nuclear-reactor vessel backwards” at San Onofre. In 2008, the San Onofre plant received multiple citations over issues such as failed emergency generators, improperly wired batteries and falsified fire safety data.

    Diablo Canyon commissioned 1985 …

    In September 1981, PG&E discovered that a single set of blueprints was used for these structural supports; workers were supposed to have reversed the plans when switching to the second reactor, but did not. According to Charles Perrow, the result of the error was that “many parts were needlessly reinforced, while others, which should have been strengthened, were left untouched.” Nonetheless, on March 19, 1982 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decided not to review its 1978 decision approving the plant’s safety, despite these and other design errors.

    (-1) 15 Total Votes - 7 up - 8 down

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