San Onofre restart issue growing more contentious and convoluted

Southern California Edison installed replacement steam generators (RSG) at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), located a mere 62 miles southeast of Los Angeles, both of which were fabricated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Japan at a $670 million price tag.

Southern California Edison installed replacement steam generators (RSG) at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), located a mere 62 miles southeast of Los Angeles, both of which were fabricated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Japan at a $670 million price tag.

This week U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey wrote to Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane and alleged that a report by Mitsubishi indicates that Southern California Edison (SCE) and MHI were aware of serious problems with the design of San Onofre nuclear power plant’s replacement steam generators before they were installed” and “rejected enhanced safety modifications and avoided triggering a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process.”

In response, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that on September 28th, 2012, they had launched an “expansive investigation of the completeness and accuracy of information that Southern California Edison provided to the NRC regarding the steam generators.” Neither Mitsubishi nor Edison representatives would immediately comment on the issue, and the report itself still has not been made public.

Thursday, at a board meeting of the California Independent System Operator, California’s main grid operator acknowledged that it was unlikely that either San Onofre reactor would provide any power during the hot summer months.

Also on Thursday, Hitoshi Kaguchi, a nuclear projects director at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, gave testimony to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission how alterations to anti-vibration tube supports had led to the destructive tube-to-tube wear so bad it had never seen before in the industry before.  At the meeting, Commission Chairman MacFarlane said the reason they were prevented from conducting a more effective probe into the San Onofre issue was the current challenges made by Friends of the Earth, which even if taken into consideration in arguendo does not make the issue any more clear.

Maybe even more harmful to any proposed restart plans, is a new initiative sponsored by Ben Davis Jr., that was cleared by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen this week, which would shut down both of California’s nuclear power plants until the federal government comes to a new waste confidence decision.

The initiative (pdf) now moves to the signature collection phase. It needs 504,760 signatures to qualify for the 2014 ballot.

Source: LA Times

Source: Bloomberg

Source: UT San Diego

Source: Forbes

6 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. inacitve44@hsmail.com'

    When asked where a phenomenon called a “SUPER” quake could occur, physicist Michio Kaku said worry about Los Angeles and San Francisco!

    This is yet another reason that California should not have nuclear power plants.

    http://enenews.com/kaku-cbs-game-changer-rewrite-all-textbooks-concern-about-monster-quake-nuclear-plant-video

  2. captddd@gmail.com'

    Latest from CA:

    From: Radiation Bulletin
    Subject: [Radbull] Major event on June 4th – will be online

    … June 4, 2013 San Diego/National/Japan News Advisory …

    FORMER JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER AND EX-HEAD OF U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION TO DISCUSS FUKUSHIMA’S LESSONS FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    *** Webcast and Audio Feed Available to Media Outside of San Diego ***

    Against Backdrop of Debate About Fate of Troubled San Onofre Reactor, Two Public Officials Who Led During Time of Japanese Reactor Crisis Appearing Together.

    SAN DIEGO, CA.///News Advisory///Two public figures who led the response in Japan and the United States to the Fukushima reactor crisis will appear together Tuesday for the first time to outline the lessons of Fukushima for Southern California, which now awaits the decision on whether or not the crippled San Onofre reactors near San Diego will be restarted.

    Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will discuss his concerns about the inherent dangers posed by nuclear reactors. He will be joined by former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko, who has emerged as a leading critic of safety at U.S. nuclear power plants.

    The event will be available live both to reporters in San Diego and via phone feed and Webcast to members of the news media elsewhere in the U.S.

    News event speakers will be:

    The Honorable Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan from June 2010 to August 2011;
    Gregory Jaczko, former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from May 2009 to July 2012;
    Peter A. Bradford, adjunct professor at the Vermont Law School, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and a former utility commission chair in New York and Maine;
    Arnold “Arnie” Gundersen, chief engineer of the energy consulting company Fairewinds Associates, and a former nuclear power industry executive; and
    Dave Roberts, County Board of Supervisors, San Diego

    FOR REPORTERS OUTSIDE OF SAN DIEGO: A live Webcast from this news event will be available to reporters outside of San Diego, CA., starting at 8:30 a.m. PDT/11:30 a.m. EDT on June 4, 2013, at http://av4b.com/live/

    FOR REPORTERS IN SAN DIEGO: Members of the media in the San Diego area are invited to attend the seminar starting at 8:30 a.m. PDT on June 4, 2013, at the Chambers of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, 3rd Floor, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego. (MAP)

    MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Frank at (703) 276-3264 or [email protected].

  3. captddd@gmail.com'

    San Onofre has been off line since radioactive leakage forced the shutdown on on 01/31/12 and Southern California has had no energy problems, since then, but SCE has been collecting about $70 million each and every month from ratepayers since then! Even the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) is now holding formal investigations into how much to rebate ratepayers, a number that might easily top $2 Billion Dollars, especially if SCE is found guilty of knowingly installing and operating RSG that were of a documented unsafe design.

    Each day, more Solar (of all flavors) is being installed and very soon the “new” capacity will more than equal what San Onofre could have added even if Unit 2 and Unit 3 were both in operation, which will not happen again because RSG Unit 3 failed in less than a year of service. Even the NRC said that the failure of not one but eight RSG tubes during in-situ testing was a serious safety problem! Left unsaid, is that this proves that multiple tube failures, (not just a single tube) is something that the NRC must now consider, especially in older reactors with only two very large steam generators.

    As it is now SCE is asking the NRC for permission to restart only Unit 2 and run it at 70% power (35% of previous power from both Unit 2 and Unit 3) in an experiment to see what the condition of the RSG tubes in Unit 2 is after a few months, despite the fact that SCE has already told the CPUC that it does not make fiscal sense to operate only a single Unit at San Onofre. Left unsaid is that the RSG tubes already have an unknown amount of fatigue damage thanks to the poor SCE design and/or how they would now react to a MSLB or other beyond basis accident, as noted in these documents:

    https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?docId=0BweZ3c0aFXcFMC1BNlpMeDQyM2M

    https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?docId=0BweZ3c0aFXcFX2gxRDFCRW9CVzg

  4. captddd@gmail.com'

    Lessons From Fukushima For San Onofre

    Lessons From Fukushima For San Onofre
    Two public figures who led the response in Japan and the United States to the Fukushima reactor crisis will appear together Tuesday for the first time to outline the lessons of Fukushima for Southern California, which now awaits the decision on whether or not the leaky San Onofre reactors near San Diego will be restarted.

    Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan will discuss his concerns about the inherent dangers posed by nuclear reactors. He will be joined by former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko, who has emerged as a leading critic of safety at U.S. nuclear power plants.

    The event will be available live both to reporters in San Diego and via phone feed and Webcast to members of the news media elsewhere in the U.S.

    News event speakers will be:
    The Honorable Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan from June 2010 to August 2011;
    Gregory Jaczko, former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from May 2009 to July 2012;
    Peter A. Bradford, adjunct professor at the Vermont Law School, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and a former utility commission chair in New York and Maine;
    Arnold “Arnie” Gundersen, chief engineer of the energy consulting company Fairewinds Associates, and a former nuclear power industry executive; and
    Dave Roberts, County Board of Supervisors, San Diego.

    FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF SO CAL : A live Webcast from this news event will be available to reporters outside of San Diego, CA., starting at 8:30 a.m. PDT/11:30 a.m. EDT on June 4, 2013, at http://av4b.com/live/

    FOR PEOPLE IN SO CAL: Members of the media in the San Diego area are invited to attend the seminar starting at 8:30 a.m. PDT on June 4, 2013, at the Chambers of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, 3rd Floor, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego. (MAP)

    MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Frank at (703) 276-3264 or [email protected].

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