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State to Investigate San Onofre

At an Irvine meeting packed with public commenters, the state agency decides to study whether it makes financial sense to reopen the nuclear power plant.

California officials decided Thursday to investigate the financial viability of San Onofre’s troubled nuclear power plant.

“I welcome this investigation,” Public Utilities Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon said before the agency’s unanimous vote. “This is probably, to some extent, overdue. It will bring clarity to questions surrounding the inoperability of the facility.”

Meeting in Irvine, the state Public Utilities Commission listened to a slew of comments before approving the study of whether San Onofre is worth the cost.

Anti-nuclear advocate Gary Headrick called the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s plan to restart one of its damaged generators a “bad investment.”

“Edison’s plan to restart—even at partial power—defective and damaged equipment is unacceptable,” Headrick said.

By 10 a.m., the PUC had limited public comments to one minute each because so many people were on the list to voice opinions about the beleaguered nuclear power plant.

On the pro-nuke side, the business community appeared to line up behind Southern California Edison. Jim Leach of the South Orange County Economic Coalition, for example, called anti-nuclear advocates a “vocal minority” using “scare tactics.”

Business owners and representatives said they needed the plant to help protect the area’s energy grid from overload.

Anti-nuclear groups criticized the cost to ratepayers for the plant, which has been closed since revealed the steam generators were riddled with broken components.

According to an Edison earnings press conference this summer, the shutdown cost the company $165 million in the first half of 2012. Many at the Irvine meeting displayed signs reading “Cut our Losses, Not a Penny More.”

The investigation will focus on the financial aspect of the shutdown, and whether Edison customers or shareholders should bear the cost of the shutdown. The CPUC is empowered to examine only the finances and rates of utilities in the state. Safety investigations fall under the purview of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

CPUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval pointed out the investigation would be complicated by ongoing legal proceedings between Southern California Edison and steam generator manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The two parties are in mediation talks now to decide how much Mitsubishi should pay for the debacle.

NRC investigators have implicated Mitsubishi for manufacturing mistakes and design miscalculations in building the generators.

CaptD October 26, 2012 at 05:13 PM
CA now has a 40% ENERGY SURPLUS (more than we ever need) even without EITHER San Onofre or El Diablo being used with more clean and safe Solar (of all flavors) being added daily! Any restart/testing would only GIFT SCE and SDG&E $1.2 Billion Dollars!
CaptD October 26, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Major points against SanO remaining in operation: 1. It is sited on Major Fault lines + the new NRC Director is a trained Geologist that knows faults. 2. SCE sneaked the RSG phony design past the NRC review process! 3. SCE/SanO has the worst operated reactor in the Country. 4. SCE has a long history of major Safety violations that is the worst in the USA. 5. SanO almost had a major nuclear accident because of SCE's "in-house" bad tube design. 6. Decommissioning SanO would instantly solve all the NRC SanO oversight issues. 7. The NRC knows that if they stop SanO from restarting, the Industry will get the message, to tighten up their operations. 8. It will make the NRC look great without making them look like they caved into the activists. 9. Restarting even under 70% power has MAJOR RISKS, as the DAB Safety Team has already pointed out, so why take ANY chances? As I see it, the NRC would much rather have all its SanO problems get Decommissioned and we can help by telling them N☢ SCE RESTARTS
CaptD October 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
The total tube damage at SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) to date: 1. On Unit 3 steam generators (SG): 8.5% of the tubes (1657 out of 19454 tubes on both SGs) showed wear of greater than 10% through-wall indications. 8 tubes failed in-situ pressure testing SCE completed extensive plugging and selective staking of 807 tubes and found 10,284 wear indications on 1806 tubes. 2. On Unit 2 steam generators (SG): 5.2 % of the tubes (1009 out of 19454 tubes on both SGs) showed wear greater than 10% through-wall indication. The total plugging for Unit 2 was 510 (205 tubes in 2E088 and 305 in 2E089) plus they found 4721 wear indications on 1,595 tubes. Now San Onofre has more tubes that are plugged and or damaged than ALL the rest of the entire US "Nuclear fleet" of reactors put together! That is how bad these SCE designed San Onofre's Replacement Steam Generators (RSG's) are and one of the main reasons they should never be allowed to restart them for any reason! Once started (at any power setting), they are a nuclear accident waiting to happen! NOTE: San Onofre's NEW RSG now have more damaged and or plugged tubes than the rest of the 140+ other US nuclear reactors combined, which gives you a indication of just how poorly they were designed by SCE...
CaptD October 26, 2012 at 05:20 PM
MHI has built more than 100 Steam Generators (SG) since 1970. Only Japan’s Mihama Unit 2 SG built by MHI had one tube rupture due to a displaced Anti Vibration Bar and that one tube caused an IAEA Level 3 Nuclear accident! Two Important Technical Questions That Need to Be Answered ASAP*: 1. Why did the SONGS Replacement Steam Generators suffer so much degradation so soon, as compared to all these other SG’s? 2. If NRC Region IV Staff thinks MHI made mistakes in the design and fabrication of SONGS RSGs as a Appendix B qualified supplier, then why would the NRC even consider licensing MHI APWR plants in USA; since MHI has been recognized by NEI as a Nuclear Power Plant Design Manufacturer and the NRC is now in the process of licensing MHI's 1700 MW APWR in USA? *The DAB Safety Team believes it is primarily the fault of SCE’s Design and Performance Specifications coupled with all the numerous design changes that were different from what they told the NRC they were doing. These changes were not correctly identified by MHI’s Fabrication and Testing Technology or their Thermal-Hydraulic Computer Codes, which was found to be faulty. If SCE had gone through a complete NRC Licensing Amendment Process, as required by replacement SG’s that are not “like for like” replacements, which these certainly were NOT, this engineering debacle probably never would have happened.
Herb Clauseh October 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Jim Leach is a big time fraud. He does not have a "drift" of what he is talking about. Check Leaches backers and you ill find Edison !

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