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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SCE Defueling San Onofre Unit 3

Below is a press release from Southern California Edison direct to APR thanks to Scott L. Andresen of SCE.


Southern California Edison to Defuel Unit 3 at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 28, 2012 – Southern California Edison (SCE) plans to defuel Unit 3 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and put the unit in a longer term outage mode. Plans to defuel Unit 3 were announced in SCE’s quarterly financial disclosure on July 31.

Both San Onofre units are currently safely shut down for inspections, analysis and testing after unexpected tube wear was found in the steam generators. Because the steam generator tube wear is more significant in Unit 3 than in Unit 2, SCE does not foresee Unit 3 coming back online in the near future. SCE is focusing on finalizing a response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Confirmatory Action Letter that will describe the company’s plan for returning Unit 2 to safe operation.

Unit 3 is being defueled, which is a normal state during an extended outage. This action will maintain a safe plant and fuel configuration while testing and analysis of Unit 3 continues. Defueling refers to the carefully executed transfer of fuel from the reactor into the spent fuel pool in a strong, reinforced building where it is secure and constantly monitored.

Unit 2 was taken out of service Jan. 9 for a planned outage. Unit 3 was safely taken offline Jan. 31 after station operators detected a leak in a steam generator tube. SCE will not restart either unit until the utility and the nuclear commission are satisfied that it is safe to do so.

Scott L. Andresen
Media Relations
Southern California Edison
24-hr Media Line: (626) 302-2255


In an earlier e-mail conversation, Jennifer Manfre of SCE noted that the defueling of Unit 3 at San Onofre had essentially been previously revealed as part of the company's 10-Q announcement on the last day of January. Thus, the press release above is a new release from SCE but the decision to defuel Unit 3 essentially is not new.

4:10 PM Eastern 8/28/2012

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