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San Onofre

April 4, 2013 | By William Alley and Rosemarie Alley
The beleaguered San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego has been idle since January 2012 after the discovery of unsafe reactor conditions. The operator is now seeking approval to restart one of the plant's two reactors at 70% power for a five-month test. The plant's license expires in less than 10 years. Overlooked in the concerns about the short-term future of San Onofre are the 1,400 tons of spent nuclear fuel stored at the coastal site. Regardless of the immediate dilemma, San Onofre is destined to follow in the footsteps of nine former nuclear power plants (including two in California)
October 14, 2012
For more than eight months, ratepayers of Southern California Edison have been paying $54 million a month - a per-customer average of more than $10 - for a nuclear power plant that has been delivering no electricity. This situation should never have been allowed to drag on for so long. Part of that $10-a-month cost was imposed several years ago when Edison, the majority owner of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, purchased new steam generators for the plant. At that time, it sought and was granted a special rate increase to cover the $671-million cost, the argument being that ratepayers would benefit from safe, reliable electricity.
October 2, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
Southern California Edison fired another salvo at its former contractor, demanding that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries pay it $140 million for the cost of investigating the failure of steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Edison on Tuesday released a Sept. 27 letter that accused Mitsubishi of "stonewalling" by continuing to seek more documentation about the cost of the utility's probes. "Your letter makes clear that Mitsubishi has no intention of meeting its contractual obligations to reimburse expenses incurred as a result of the defective replacement steam generators," Edison wrote.
March 21, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Ratepayers of Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. could be in line for more than $1 billion in refunds as part of a possible financial settlement from the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Both Edison and another party to the negotiations, the Utility Reform Network (TURN), a consumer advocacy group, confirmed that a settlement conference is scheduled next Thursday at the San Francisco headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission.
October 4, 2012 | By Paul Whitefield
So, Southern California Edison wants to restart one of San Onofre's nuclear reactors. OK, sure. What could go wrong? (And isn't that the $64-million question that always hangs over nuclear power?) It's not that San Onofre has been trouble-free . Far from it. But it has produced electricity reliably since 1968 -- and Lord knows we need the juice here in Southern California.   And now Edison says that it understands the problems that have caused the plant to be offline for eight months.  Edison wrote that the unusual wear was a result of "fluid elastic instability" -- high-velocity steam flow and low moisture in certain areas that caused the tubes to vibrate excessively and rub against each other.
April 23, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Los Angeles became the latest -- and largest -- city to weigh in on the fate of the San Onofre nuclear plant Tuesday, with the City Council unanimously passing a resolution calling on federal regulators to hold off on deciding whether the plant can restart. The plant has been out of service for more than a year because of unusual wear on steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water. One tube leaked a small amount of radioactive steam last January, prompting the plant's shutdown.
September 4, 2013 | By Abby Sewell
Southern California Edison, owner of the now-defunct San Onofre nuclear plant , has made documents available on a website  relating to the ill-fated steam generator replacement that prompted the plant's closure. The documents, some of which had not been previously released, include correspondence and minutes of meetings between staff from Edison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - the Japanese company that was contracted to manufacture the replacement generators - about their design, and documents submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
June 7, 2013 | By Abby Sewell
The fate of the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant was apparently sealed last month when it became clear that a potential lengthy series of hearings would likely have to be held before the coastal facility could be powered back up. The plant, which once supplied power to about 1.4 million homes in Southern California, has been closed for more than a year after a tube leaked a small amount of radioactive steam. On Friday, Edison International announced the facility would be retired.
May 23, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
During a renomination hearing before the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works committee Thursday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) pressed U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane on the agency's plans for the San Onofre nuclear plant. The plant has been shut down for more than a year because of equipment problems with its replacement steam generators. The NRC is reviewing a restart plan submitted by plant operator Southern California Edison.  In the meantime, the NRC's office of investigations and office of inspector general are probing whether there was any wrongdoing by Edison.
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