FROM Morgan Lee
Replacing the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant The reactors at the San Onofre nuclear power plant were shut down two years ago; that’s 2200 Megawatts lost to a large swath of Southern California. The Public Utilities Commission has approved the Pio Pico natural gas plant on Otay Mesa near the Mexican border, but that’s been challenged by advocates of green energy. Morgan Lee reports for U-T San Diego, formerly the Union-Tribune.
After San Onofre, What's Next? San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has two nuclear reactors under those big domes you see when you drive south of San Clemente on Interstate 5. Now that the power plant has been shut down , Southern California Edison needs new sources for one-fifth of Southern California's electrical power. It also has to get rid of the plant itself, including components that will be highly radioactive for a very long time.
The Shutdown of San Onofre and California's Energy Future The nuclear power reactors at San Onofre generated power off and on for 40 years, until they were shut down a year ago because of leakage from a tube for radioactive steam. It turned out that hundreds of such tubes were wearing out unexpectedly fast; repair would require a lengthy hearing process with an uncertain outcome. Last Friday, Southern California Edison announced it would close the entire plant permanently.
A Southern California Summer without Nuclear Power? At San Onofre , on the coast near the boundary of Orange and San Diego Counties, both nuclear generators have been shut down since January. On a high-profile visit with US Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission , Gregory Jaczko, said they won't be started again until what he calls "a very serious" issue has been resolved. That means nine percent of the power in the LA region and 20 percent in San Diego won't be available if there's a summer heat wave.
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