The organization responsible for overseeing California's power grid is already developing plans to meet next summer's electricity needs in Southern California if the San Onofre nuclear plant remains offline.
The plant's outage has now stretched for more than seven months, forcing energy officials to replace its 2,200 megawatts of power — enough to power about 1.4 million homes — in the heat of the summer.
Staffers from the California Independent System Operator on Thursday presented a set of recommendations to their board of governors in case the outage extends another year.
The plant was shuttered because of unexpected wear on tubes carrying radioactive water in its four recently replaced steam generators.
Plant operator Southern California Edison plans to submit a restart plan for one of the two reactor units by early October, but the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission would need to review and sign off on the plan, a process that may take months, NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane told a Senate committee this week. The plant's second reactor, where the tube damage was worse, will remain out of commission indefinitely.