A new technical evaluation of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2 demonstrates that the Unit 2 steam generators could be operated safely at 100 percent power and reinforces Southern California Edison’s (SCE) more conservative plan to begin operating Unit 2 at 70 percent power for five months.
SCE submitted the operational assessment of potential Unit 2 steam generator tube wear to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in response to NRC questions. The new evaluation determined Unit 2 could operate at full power for 11 months with full tube integrity. The assessment was performed by Intertek APTECH of Sunnyvale, CA, and supplements Intertek’s earlier assessment of Unit 2 operation at 70 percent power. Intertek performs operational assessments relating to steam generators for many nuclear power plants around the U.S.
“This evaluation confirms the structural integrity of the Unit 2 steam generators at 100 percent power, as requested by the NRC,” said Pete Dietrich, SCE senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “While we have no intent to restart Unit 2 at full power, this demonstrates the amount of safety margin we have built into our analyses. We welcome this additional safety analysis but remain steadfast in our commitment to restart Unit 2 at only 70 percent power.”
SCE has proposed the reduced power operating level to prevent the conditions that caused premature tube wear in San Onofre Unit 3 and indications of wear in Unit 2.
The San Onofre nuclear plant is the largest source of baseload generation and voltage support in the region and is a critical asset in meeting California’s summer electricity and clean energy needs. Both units at San Onofre are currently safely shut down. Unit 2 remains shut down since it was taken out of service Jan. 9, 2012, for a planned outage. Unit 3 was safely taken offline Jan. 31, 2012, after station operators detected a leak in a steam generator tube.
NRC approval is required before SCE can restart Unit 2. The repair, corrective action and restart plan for Unit 2, along with additional technical information to address questions from the NRC, are available to the public at www.SONGScommunity.com.
More information, including videos that explain how a steam generator works and the role San Onofre plays in providing reliable electricity to the region, is available at www.edison.com/SONGSupdate and at www.SONGScommunity.com. San Onofre is jointly owned by SCE (78.21 percent), San Diego Gas & Electric (20 percent) and the city of Riverside (1.79 percent). Follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/SCE) and like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SCE).
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.