in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Southern California Edison (SCE) has decided to permanently retire Units 2 and 3 of its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

"SONGS has served this region for over 40 years," says Ted Craver, chairman and CEO of Edison International, parent company of SCE, "but we have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if SONGS might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors or the need to plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs."

Both SONGS units have been shut down since January 2012. Unit 2 was taken out of service Jan. 9, 2012, for a planned routine outage. The utility says Unit 3 was taken offline Jan. 31, 2012, after station operators detected a small leak in a tube inside a steam generator manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

After months of analysis and tests, SCE submitted a restart plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in October 2012. SCE proposed to restart Unit 2 at a reduced power level (70%) for an initial period of approximately five months.

However, the utility says a recent ruling by an adjudicatory arm of the NRC, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, creates further uncertainty regarding when a final decision might be made on restarting Unit 2. SCE says the costs of maintaining SONGS in a state of readiness to restart and the costs to replace the power SONGS previously provided is uneconomic.

In connection with the retirement of Units 2 and 3, San Onofre anticipates reducing staff over the next year from approximately 1,500 to approximately 400 employees, subject to applicable regulatory approvals. The majority of such reductions are expected to occur this year.

“This situation is very unfortunate,” said Pete Dietrich, SCE’s chief nuclear officer, noting that “this is an extraordinary team of men and women. We will treat them fairly.”

Full retirement of the units prior to decommissioning will take some years in accordance with customary practices, and actual decommissioning will take many years until completion. Such activities will remain subject to the continued oversight of the NRC.

SCE says it intends to pursue recovery of damages from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the supplier of the replacement steam generators, as well as recovery of amounts under applicable insurance policies.




Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Latest Top Stories

Duke Energy Commits $500M To Major Solar Expansion In N.C.

The utility company says the investment will help further diversify its portfolio, as well as increase solar power for its North Carolina customers by 60%.


Sensus Issues Refund To SaskPower After Smart Meter Woes

As SaskPower continues to swap out its Sensus units following several meter failures, the two companies have reached an agreement in order for the utility to recover costs.


The Smart Utility's Guide To Choosing A Smart Meter

Electricity providers across North America are taking on grid modernization. This article outlines the myriad factors a utility should consider in order to select the best-possible smart meter.


DOE Report: U.S. Wind Power Prices Reach All-Time Low

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), wind power continues to play a larger role in the U.S.' energy mix and is the cheapest it has ever been in the country.


Survey Reveals What U.S. Consumers Expect From Their Utilities

GE's new survey measures Americans' views on the state and future of the grid, as well as how much extra consumers would be willing to pay for better power reliability.

S&C Electric_id176
Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
edf_id180
Future Energy_id187