Restart plans for San Onofre nuclear plant to be completed by end of July

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Southern California Edison said it will submit restart plans for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) by the end of July.

The plant has been offline since a leak sent radioactive steam into the atmosphere almost five months ago.

A new federal report on the nuclear plant’s equipment problems was released Monday.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said steam flowed much too quickly through the plant’s generators, which caused the tubes carrying radioactive water to vibrate and knock against each other.

The NRC report said Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which designed the steam generators, used flawed computer modeling in predicting the velocity of steam and water flowing through the tubes, but NRC officials said the ultimate responsibility is with plant operator Southern California Edison.

SONGS Chief Nuclear Operator Pete Dietrich said the company agrees with the NRC's findings. Dietrich also said the utility is looking to submit restart plans before the end of July.

The NRC said it is continuing inspections at the plant and there is more work Southern California Edison needs to do before the facility can be restarted.

Meantime, the continued shutdown fuels claims by anti-nuclear groups that the region can survive without the plant’s energy.

They want the plant shut down permanently.

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