Glitch-hit US nuclear plant shut down for good

Jun 07, 2013
The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, pictured here on March 15, 2012, which shut down last year after a radiation leak will be permanently closed, its owners said Friday.

A California nuclear power plant shut down last year after a radiation leak will be permanently closed, its owners said Friday.

Southern California Edison (SCE) has been trying to fix problems which came to light last year after a minor leak in one reactor at the San Onofre plant, north of San Diego in southern California.

But SCE parent company Edison International's chairman Ted Craver said experts had finally concluded that they cannot resolve the problems quickly or comprehensively enough.

"We have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if (San Onofre) might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to plan for our region's long-term electricity needs," he said.

The shutdown will mean the loss of some 1,100 jobs, the reported.

Anti-nuclear activists hailed the announcement. "It has great national implications and is a real strong message that this nation does not need nuclear power," Shaun Burnie, of Friends of the Earth, told the newspaper.

Democratic US Senator Barbara Boxer said she was "greatly relieved that the San Onofre will be closed permanently... This nuclear plant had a defective redesign and could no longer operate as intended."

A first reactor at San Onofre was shut down in January last year after a radiation leak, although the (NRC) said there was no danger to the public.

But experts found unexpected erosion on tubes that carry , and the entire plant was shut down, forcing Californian authorities to fire up alternative power generation facilities.

Subsequent investigation showed that more than 3,400 tubes in new steam generators at San Onofre were damaged.

San Onofre produced enough energy to power 1.4 million homes, according to SCE. California's only other , at Diablo Canyon between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is run by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Dan Dominguez of the Utility Workers Union of America lamented the job losses, and believed the plant could be salvaged. "But the decision's been made, so we'll have to deal with the consequences," he told the LA Times.

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User comments : 10

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Sanescience
2 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2013
Nuclear power is an amazingly sad story. For something as important as the future of our environment and quality of life people hardly spend the effort to understand it.

America should have been the world preeminent builder of safe efficient non-waste producing fast neutron (IFR) reactors. We should have been retiring these lame PWR 1950's era reactors for decades now and replacing them. Instead upon completion the IFR project started by President Carter was canceled by President Clinton. And all of our PWR reactors were extended to keep producing high level waste and built hundreds of coal fired plants.

And now instead of providing the safe non polluting technology to developing nations as a mega valuable export business, they are now catching up to our level of technology and building HUNDREDS MORE of these lame PWR reactors.

To anyone who thinks the protests against nuclear power were a worthy cause, with that kind of help, the environment doesn't need enemies.
Sanescience
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2013
A PBS Frontline interview with Dr. Till. He is very civil for someone who "had it within his grasp" and lost it to the unthinking savages.

http://www.pbs.or...ill.html
Benni
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2013
I guess the best we can hope for in this shutdown is that the bulk of the power was being supplied to Hollywood & the nearby area. Those much heralded residents can soon brag that their primary source of electricity for their power hungry air conditioning is coming from their much vaunted wind farms where they've planted all those wind turbines in the high desert, last time I did a site visit at one of them there were 13 turbines laying on the ground.

Whoops, it just dawned on me, if California would just restrict the size one could build a house, there would be a drastic reduction in energy demand & California's celebrities would be forced to finally to conform their actions to match their rhetoric about their concerns of the carbon footprint of the rest of us (except for me).
ValeriaT
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2013
Currently the nuclear energetics suffers with hard times because the Fukushima failure and the expansion of shale gas mining. But without investments into cold fusion the fossil fuels have no better option anyway (the wind and solar plants represent the minute and unreliable sources of energy).
kochevnik
2.5 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2013
@Sanescience

You're just another arrogant asshole who isn't forced to breathe the downwind radiation from this plant's fundamentally-designed lid. Your same logic is used to drone thousands abroad with the thinking that if only enough would be droned, all the problems abroad would die with the populations. And what kind of pedantic corporatist handle you have, "Sanescience"

@Benni

Most homes in California are dollhouses. Spend less time watching TMZ and get some fresh air
Sanescience
1 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2013
Kochevnic: WTH! Get your knee jerks under control.

San Onofre is a PWR, I'm not defending it. Quite the opposite, I'm rather irritated so many were built and are still running. PWR is short for Pressurized Water Reactor and they are essentially the first version of a reactor design that is intended to produce the actinides needed for building the weapons that were so desirable during the early cold war. They were *designed* to make the waste we have to store now because nobody wants to build the bombs now.

They should never have been the go to design for generating power. And anyone with half a technical brain new it. Carter and the scientists in the industry designed built and ran an IFR reactor that managed a Chernobyl like emergency test by calmly and quietly halting reactions and entered a stable passive state without any human action taken. Plus IFR reactors could have been burning up all this waste we have to store forever. Instead were making more of it still!
Benni
1 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2013
@Benni


Most homes in California are dollhouses.


Do you even know how to read the context of a post? I specifically said Hollywood & the surrounding area, the surrounding area being Beverly Hills.......ever been there? I have relatives living there, I know the domiciles, been in them, I know where those relatives set their thermostats & I also know that not a single one of their neighbors care a hoot in hell about energy conservation, they just mouth it for public relations consumption.

Spend less time watching TMZ and get some fresh air


I get so much fresh air through my mountaintop chalet that I'm the envy of my Beverly Hills relatives who choke on their own SUV exhaust because there's so little air movement most days to keep the Hills cleansed. Why do you think Robert Redford doesn't live in California? Same reason for me...........By the way, I'm an Electrical/Nuclear Engineer who built his own house, site specific for view & fresh air.

Benni
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2013
America should have been the world preeminent builder of safe efficient non-waste producing fast neutron (IFR) reactors. We should have been retiring these lame PWR 1950's era reactors for decades now and replacing them. Instead upon completion the IFR project canceled by President Clinton.

And now instead of providing the safe non polluting technology to developing nations as a mega valuable export business, they are now catching up to our level of technology and building HUNDREDS MORE of these lame PWR reactors.

To anyone who thinks the protests against nuclear power were a worthy cause, with that kind of help, the environment doesn't need enemies.


You are right on the money my friend. I learned the thermal neutron design in undergrad, the fast neutron design had limited availability because so much of the focus was to get water cooled reactors into the submarine fleet during the cold war period. The problem is the "politicians" who can't even do high school algebra.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2013
I like the bridge to nowhere shown in the Pic.

Was it designed and built on the orders of Sarah Palin?

Pathetic
Osiris1
1 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2013
Lots of anti-nuke comments so expect to be flamed by 'ones'. But folks, when the people watching the dodgers play suddenly get blackouted, and they will not be happy. When older folks with carefully balanced budgets get the monkey wrench of a 200 percent a year rate rise that persists year to year and are forced out of their homes into the 125 degree heat on our SoCal summers in the desert, they are gonna die. They are gonna die in large numbers! And the surviving rellies are gonna seek someone to blame. That would be YOU folks here, idiots in old tennis shoes, floppy hats, and memories of demonstrations gone by when you got laid by this one or that. Exult in yourselves now, but the political firestorm of revenge will come! Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind! Plain fact, America NEEDs energy. The day of the environmentalist is numbered by the deaths he/she causes. Think on it when protesting new photo-voltaic plants because of some worthless insect.

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