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San Onofre nuclear power plant takes the summer off

The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant is seen on April 6, 2012.
The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant is seen on April 6, 2012.
Grant Slater/KPCC

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Yesterday, Edison International announced that the San Onofre nuclear power plant will be offline throughout the summer, if not longer. The plant has been shut down since January 31, after tubing which carried radioactive water began to show signs of wear. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) mandated the plant stay dark until the cause of, and solution to, the wear can be determined.

Edison says the earliest they could start up one of the reactors would be the end of summer, and that’s taking the best possible conditions into effect. Ultimately, the NRC has the final word, and the group will be holding a public meeting in San Juan Capistrano on June 18th to discuss its special inspection team’s recent findings.

When running at peak performance, the plant comprised 19 percent of Edison’s power in Southern California. To make up for this loss, Edison will reactivate two dormant generating units in Huntington Beach, while simultaneously relying on alerts and incentives to get customers to conserve energy.

Are you feeling the hit from San Onofre’s closure? What environmental impact will come from turning on the Huntington Beach units? What caused the wear and tear at San Onofre in the first place? When this is all said and done, how much will the repairs cost?


Ed Joyce, KPCC’s Orange County Reporter

Jennifer Manfre, Senior Manager of Media Relations, Southern California Edison

Mark Chediak, Reporter for Bloomberg News