FROM Gary Headrick
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.
San Onofre Nuclear Plant to Remain Closed Pending Investigation In January, at the nuclear plant on the coast near San Onofre, a tube carrying radioactive water sprung a leak and Southern California Edison shut down one of two massive reactors. It found that other tubes were in danger of rupturing. There are 20,000 tubes altogether. Some were replaced and others added during a multimillion-dollar makeover and installation of new generators to boost production of electricity. But SoCal Edison apparently failed to tell the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that a new material was being used. That would have triggered an investigation. Instead, the NRC has ordered the shut down of both massive reactors indefinitely. KCRW sent Steve Chiotakis and Avishay Artsy to talk with people (Julie Cho, John Grace, Phaedra Lujano and Jesse Alder) in San Clemente, the plant's closest neighbor. Are they worried? Last night, the City Council of Irvine, downwind of San Onofre, voted to ask that the plant be shut down permanently . Note: The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) and NRC both declined our invitation to participate in this discussion.
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