NRC finds no threat in restarting San Onofre nuclear

In a preliminary finding, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it found no significant safety risks in Edison International’s request for a license amendment to restart the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

Federal inspectors found that restarting the nuclear reactor at 70 percent power by June 1 in order to meet summer electricity demand does not increase the odds of an accident occurring or create the possibility of a new accident unforeseen in the plant’s original operating license.

Both reactors at San Onofre have been shut since January 2012 due to premature wear found on tubes in steam generators installed in 2010 and 2011. Unit No. 3 has had dozens of steam tubes taken out of service.

SONGS is located in the northwest corner of San Diego County, south of San Clemente next to Interstate 5. Before its shutdown, the nuclear power plant produced roughly 20 percent of Southern California’s power supply.

The plant’s two reactors (Units 2 and 3) have been shut down since January 2012 due to premature wear found on tubes in steam generators, which apparently contributed to the accidental release of a small amount of radioactive steam.

The plant’s Unit No. 1 was decommissioned in 1992 after 25 years of service. The remaining two units generate about 1,700 MW each.

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