APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Friday, June 8, 2012

San Onofre 6/7 update from SoCal Ed

Below is a press release direct to APR courtesy Southern California Edison.


Southern California Edison Provides An Update on the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

ROSEMEAD, Calif., June 7, 2012 – Edison International Chairman and CEO Ted Craver, in meetings with Southern California media representatives Thursday, said that safety, not timelines, would determine when the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) restarts.

Due to safety inspections and testing that Southern California Edison (SCE) is performing, the company expects to deliver a plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by the end of July regarding the operation of SONGS Unit 2. The NRC, which must approve the restart of SONGS, will then need time to respond. As a result, SCE estimates SONGS likely will remain off line through August. A plan for Unit 3 is expected to take longer to develop.

SONGS Units 2 and 3 Status

SCE engineers and third-party experts are currently working on a plan to address the NRC Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL) that outlines actions SCE must complete at SONGS before seeking permission from the NRC to restart either Unit 2 or Unit 3.

As the actions for each unit are completed, SCE will submit its responses to the NRC. There is no deadline for submitting the CAL responses. A series of regularly scheduled inspections and equipment testing will continue as planned over the next couple of months. As a result of some of these tests, steam will be visible. Also, the NRC has set June 18 as the date of a public meeting to discuss the Augmented Inspection Team findings.

Steam Generator Replacement Process

SCE followed the NRC’s detailed guidance in procuring its replacement steam generators, meeting the NRC’s technical specifications outlined in Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 50.59.

Both SONGS units are currently safely shut down for inspections, analysis and testing. Unit 2 was taken out of service Jan. 9 for a planned outage. Unit 3 was safely taken off line Jan. 31 after station operators detected a leak in a steam generator tube.

About Southern California Edison

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.


Jennifer Manfrè
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Southern California Edison


5:45 AM Eastern 6/8/2012


  1. Will, I have been reading about the AP1000 and noticed that some of the early information pieces about the AP1000 implied that the AP1000 steam generators would be safe because the AP1000 steam generators are the same kind used at San Onofte. As the San Onofre story unfolds, should I think that San Onofre steam generator problems are likely with the Delta 125 AP1000 steam generators?

  2. I see that the documentation indicates that the design is in part based on successful designs of a number of types of plant; this may however indicate the original, and not the replacement, steam generators at San Onofre because the replacements at San Onofre are made by Mitsubishi. San Onofre's plants are Combustion Engineering plants; Westinghouse now owns what was left of Combustion Engineering's nuclear energy business, which CE sold out of a number of years back (and which was owned by ABB at one point.) I see nothing worrisome about their statement although I may try to contact them for some clarification.

    1. Thanks.
      Without knowing how the industry works, I am guessing that the new San Onofre steam generators were designed by Westinghouse and made by Mitsubishi. I am also guessing that Westinghouse used its latest design (Series F) to design the San Onofre generators. My concern is that Westinghouse used the latest design (Series F) in designing the generators for the AP1000. So if the San Onofre problem is a design problem, then the AP1000 has the problem, but if the problem is manufacturing there is no relevance to the AP1000 at all. Do my guesses make sense?

  3. Martin, I am continuing to work to get answers for all your questions. I think they are interesting and probably need to get aired out given that Westinghouse document. I will post the responses I get here, so keep looking back. Even if I have to wait to get answers at the ANS Annual Meeting, I will get them!