SCE wants to restart San Onofre Nuclear June 1, NRC has doubts

Southern California Edison (SCE), plant operator of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) told nuclear regulators April 3 they want to restart one unit of the nuclear power plant by June 1. Regulators said they doubt this would allow enough time to process all the paperwork regulations require.

SCE officials met with representatives of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in Maryland to decide what documents the agency needs to review if SCE and parent company Edison International decided to submit a license amendment to allow half the plant to operate at 70 percent power.

The NRC wants this additional information as part of its investigation into the leak at the plant that caused damage to areas of the plant.

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 shut-down, 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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