Southern California breaking news and trends

San Onofre trouble prompts visit by NRC Chairman Jaczko

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With both of San Onofre's reactors powered down, the troubled nuclear power plant by the sea is about to get a visit from the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it was announced on Wednesday.

The visit by NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko emphasizes the concern over safety and equipment that began in January with a radioactive steam leak.

Since then, the commission determined that tubes carrying hot, pressurized, radioactive water inside the steam generators were deteriorating at a dangerous and unusual rate at least in part because they are rubbing against each other.

Amid reports that the nuclear plant misled federal regulators about equipment changes, the plant was barred last week from restarting operations until the situation is understood and resolved.

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San Onofre nuclear plant not allowed to reopen pending fixes, say feds

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Citing critical concerns about equipment failure, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has barred SoCal Edison from restarting the San Onofre nuclear plant at this time, the L.A. Times reports.

Trouble at San Onofre has been ongoing since January's radioactive steam leak, and the commission has been trying to determine why tubes carrying hot, pressurized, radioactive water inside the steam generators are deteriorating at a dangerous and unusual rate

On Tuesday, the cause of the tube trouble was addressed in a letter federal regulators sent to Edison.

Officials said the wear in both Unit 2 and Unit 3 was caused by vibrating tubes rubbing against each other. Additionally in Unit 3, the tubes were rubbing against support structures, according to the NRC. It was still unclear why it was happening.

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Lights out around SoCal after wild and stormy weekend

Severe Rain Storms Continue To Threaten The Los Angeles Area

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As another Monday repents for its wild and stormy weekend, thousands of blacked-out Southern California homes are left wondering what happened to their electricity.

The weekend storm -- that knocked down power lines, patted the mountains with snow, and turned traffic into a multi-lane Slip 'n Slide -- darkened 21,000 homes at its peak.

Downtown Los Angeles splashed through an inch of rain during the weekend downpour, and two to three inches were recorded in Santa Monica Mountains and coastal Malibu.

Southern California Edison reports approximately 2,000 homes are still powerless Monday morning. More than 4,000 San Diego customers lost electricity before Monday 1 a.m. but have since seen the utility restored.

As the storm blows out of town today, another inch or two of snow could be recorded in the mountains.

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San Onofre reactors down indefinitely, power shortages possible this summer

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Like the forthcoming tans of a rapidly approaching summer, hopes are fading that the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be functional by the time peak summer usage rears its sweaty head.

With San Onofre's nuclear reactors offline indefinitely -- Unit 3 was shut down following January's radioactive leak and Unit 2 is offline for maintenance -- local agencies are scrambling to strategize a way of handling the upcoming summer demand to avoid shortages or blackouts.

Preliminary plans were discussed Thursday at a meeting to address the power supply issue.

State regulators may need to bring in electric generators via barges, or un-retire closed power plants to make up for lost electricity. Officials at the California Independent System Operator meeting said an extended heatwave or surge in usage may still cause outages.

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Stormy weather: Lights out for some, snow days for others

palm trees ventura snow mountains

Photo by ...-Wink-... via Flickr Creative Commons

Southern California Edison says nearly 150,000 people were affected by electricity outages during last weekend's storm, and that more than 10,000 homes are still without electricity. 

High winds knocked down service lines and one death was reported near Sacramento when a tree fell onto a house killing a little girl.  Several school districts and sections of freeway in San Bernardino and San Diego counties closed Monday because of snow and ice.

Temps are expected to rise this week, according to the National Weather Service. Monday should hit a high of 60 degrees and continue to rise to just under 70 degrees at least until Friday. There's a small chance a small storm may stop by for a sprinkle.

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