There have been a lot of questions asked over the last year about the future of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Generating Station, amidst a constant hailstorm of forward-looking (aka marketing 101) statements from lobbying agencies and the nuclear industry, but none of the answers seem concerned about the public interest. Ratepayers are still paying higher rates for the San Onofre reactors, even though they haven’t operated for a year, and some interests would like to force the consumers to pick up the check for even more debt.
Someone asked me what I thought about this the other day, and I gladly shared my point of view. The consumers in California have attempted to assess the situation like an executive of any sports team, but they have been constantly chided and scolded and generally treated like children in return.
Any executive of a sports team, worth his salary, knows that you never trade or buy a player based on past performance, or what was, good or bad. The intelligent executive only buys based on what it is proven to be here and now, or what it will become in the future. They do not care about what the player’s agent tells them, or what the media has to say, they look at the facts, they look at the current roster, they look at the future, they decide.
The problems which sidelined the San Onofre reactors are not going away, they will not subsist, they will not cease, the will continue to wear and tear until the steam generators no longer meet leak requirements. There is no solution aside from replacing the steam generators, which has a plethora of questions and issues related to just that, namely who could afford to do that, or could stomach the thought of another multi-year outage for repairs and replacements with no power supplied to the grid.
California has not had any blackouts since the San Onofre reactors went offline. It is a little discussed fact, but worth mention; the last blackout which did affect the grid in Southern California, was actually initiated by the San Onofre station closing itself from the grid, causing massive grid instability which caused a blackout up and down the California corridor, stretching into Mexico.
There is no additional supply needed which is driving Edison to restart the San Onofre reactors, it is a financial need, which the public has no interest in.