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Proposed Changes To San Onofre’s Decommissioning Fund

Evening Edition

The San Onofre nuclear power plant has been off line since January, when a small radiation leak revealed major problems with the newly installed steam generators. No one is sure when or if the operator, Southern California Edison, will restart the plant. KPBS reporter Alison St John says what happens next will be decided by an increasingly complicated cost benefit analysis.

As the future of the San Onofre nuclear power plant hangs in the balance, a commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commissioner has suggested changing investment guidelines for the plant’s decommissioning fund.

Aired 9/12/12 on KPBS News.

Ratepayer advocates are concerned about proposed changes to a fund that would pay to decommission the San Onofre nuclear power plant at the end of its life.


SDG&E letter

SDG&E letter

SDG&E's response to proposal to invest San Onofre's Decommissiing Fund in riskier investments

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Southern California Edison and SDG&E have collected money for the fund from ratepayers over the life of the plant, to pay decommissioning costs when it ultimately shuts down.

Electricity ratepayers have already paid more than $3 billion into the fund for San Onofre. It’s estimated that decommissioning Units 2 and 3 will cost $3.7 billion.

CPUC Commissioner Tim Simon, a former securities and banking industry attorney, suggested lifting limits on the way the money in the fund is invested, in hopes of earning a higher rate of return.

But ratepayer advocate Matt Freedman, with The Utility Reform Network, or TURN, is skeptical. The plant’s license expires in 10 years, he said, and the future of Unit 3 is in doubt, so this may not be in the public interest.

“It‘s a maxim of retirement planning that as you get closer to your own personal retirement, your investments get more conservative,” Freedman said, “not more risky. But in this case, Commissioner Simon is suggesting that as these units near their retirement, that we should begin to invest more of the money in very risky investments.”

Freedman said the proposal on the table appears designed to benefit investment managers who would charge higher fees for new categories of investments. He said without a lot of time to ride out market fluctuations, ratepayers could be left on the hook for any depletion of the fund caused by market drops.

San Diego ratepayers are currently contributing $8 million a year into San Onofre’s decommissioning fund. SDG&E has responded to the proposal, saying greater investment flexibility could be helpful, though fees would be higher.

Freedman said the Public Utilities Commission will vote on the proposal before changes are approved.

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Avatar for user 'NuclearGuru'

NuclearGuru | September 11, 2012 at 7:48 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

SCE Website Says
Unit 3 Steam Generator Tube Leak = Cause of Unexpected Tube-to-Tube Wear
•Specific mechanism is Fluid Elastic Instability causing excessive tube vibration
–Most excessive wear occurring in limited area of Unit 3 steam generators
•This is due to:
•High steam flow velocities
•Very dry steam
•Inadequate tube support structure in the U bend region for the tubes experiencing the wear
Questions To SCE are as follows
Who designed the Generator Mitsubishi or the SCE Steam Expert, who wrote the Paper about SCE/MHI Challenging Rewards/Innovative Designs and team work?
According to SONGS Root Cause Guru, SCE Steam Expert wrote the defective specifications and MHI Says to other Root Cause Guru, we listened to the Great SCE Steam Guru and built these Wonderful Steam Generators. MHI Says SCE did not know how to Operate these Wonderful Radiation Steaming Crucibles and SCE put too much steam to generate too much power and broke it. SCE Guru also says if SCE Steam Expert had asked their dear Counter Parts at Palo Verde about the steam generators, they would have told them to go to Westinghouse. Now the Generators are broke. SCE Should Retire Units 2 and 3 Steam Generators into an exhibition in Parking Lot 4 by the Beach and follow the example of Mihama, so they can learn from their catastrophic mistakes . SCE Officials should make their honest living from the public donations by showing them the broken generator instead of charging the rate payerscatastrophic mistakes .

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NuclearGuru | September 12, 2012 at 9:13 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago


At around 13: 50, on February 9th, 1991, leakage of about 55 tons of primary coolant occurred due to the failure of one SG tube in a steam generator built by Mitsubishi in the No. 2 pressurized water reactor at the Mihama nuclear power station in Japan. This accident was the first level three nuclear disaster in Japan. Therefore, this accident caused social concerns in Japan with the unsafe operation of nuclear reactors. For example, level one is a minor event, and level seven is major accident. The loss of coolant that occurred in Three Mile Island was ranked level five. The level number increases with the scale of the accident. Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl Nuclear Disasters were level seven major accidents.

SONGS NRC AIT Inspection Report States, “The replacement steam generator design developed by Mitsubishi for SONGS Unit 2 and Unit 3 in accordance with the licensee’s design specification was translated into the same set of design and fabrication drawings. The team noted that some as-built dimensions varied between Unit 2 and Unit 3 steam generators as a result of the divider plate weld repairs in Unit 3 and other manufacturing processes. However, these dimensional changes did not represent significant deviations from the original design specifications. The result of the independent NRC thermal-hydraulic analysis indicated that differences
in the actual operation between units and/or individual steam generators had an
insignificant impact on the results and in fact, the team did not identify any changes in steam velocities or void fractions that could attribute to the differences in tube wear between the units or steam generators. It should be noted that increases in primary temperature and steam generator pressures has the effect of reducing void fractions and peak steam velocities, which slightly decreases the conditions necessary for fluid elastic instability and fluid-induced vibration.

Note: For Continuation see Part 2

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NuclearGuru | September 12, 2012 at 9:14 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago


NRC Report states SONGS Unit 3 steam generators had experienced excessive vibration of tubes in the U-bend region of the steam generators to the extent that the tubes rubbed against each other (tube-to-tube interactions) causing excessive wear and loss of structural integrity. Your staff determined that the vibration was caused by the steam conditions in the U-bend region of the steam generators by a phenomenon called “fluid elastic instability.” The NRC inspection team
concluded that the steam generators’ design and configuration did not provide the necessary margin to prevent this phenomenon. Although the steam generator tube degradation from this phenomenon observed in Unit 2 steam generators was not as severe, the NRC team concluded that both units’ steam generators were of similar design with similar thermal hydraulic conditions and configurations. Therefore, SONGS Unit 2 steam generators are also susceptible to this phenomenon.

SONGS Unit 3 - Eight SONGS Unit 3 tubes in steam generators built by Mitsubishi failed in-situ pressure test after the tube leak accident in January 2012. The NRC AIT Report says that plant operators responded to the event in a manner that protected public health and safety and all safety systems performed their functions to support the safe shutdown and cool down of the plant. The release resulted in an estimated 0.0000452 (4.52 E-5) mrem dose to the public. However, the loss of steam generator tube integrity is a serious safety issue that must be resolved prior to further power operation.

If eight tubes in Unit 3 steam generator would have ruptured, SONGS accident could have been many times worse than Mihama Nuclear Disaster, if the Intelligent Shift Managers and Operating Crews had not detected the Unit 3 leak in a timely manner and brought the plant to a safe shutdown. Southern Californians were lucky this time? The Steam generator tubes in Unit 3 are so damaged, that SCE is taking the fuel out of the reactor. According to SONGS reliable Sources, Mitsubishi is planning to relocate to the SONGS jobsite for 4 years, so they can determine what went wrong and repair Unit 3, so SCE can operate the Unit 3 again and make money. The question is can Southern Californians Trust NRC, CPCU, SCE and MHI to do that again without a detailed and open public investigation and risk their health, property and economy?

Note: For Continuation see Part 3

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NuclearGuru | September 12, 2012 at 9:16 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago


SONGS Unit 2 - The total plugging for Unit 2 is 205 tubes in steam generator 2E088, and 305 in 2E089. If Southern Californians allow SONGS Unit 2 to Restart even at reduced power, the SONGS Unit 2 steam generators are also susceptible excessive vibration of tubes in the U-bend region of the steam generators to the extent that the tubes can rub against each other (tube-to-tube interactions) causing excessive wear and loss of structural integrity. What it means is that without proper repairs of Unit 2 and exact root cause determination, an operational transient due to localized highly dry steam (No water) and inadequate tube support structure in the U bend region can cause several already weakened (damaged) and more than 200 plugged tubes to rupture like soft cookies. NRC Report States that the resident inspectors determined that crew supervision exercised effective oversight of plant status, crew performance, and control room command and control.

The SONGS Emergency Plan Root Cause Evaluation Problem Statement in April 2012 by the SONGS Nuclear Oversight Department states , “ Below are some of the weaknesses witnessed during review and or observation of LOCT/DEP Evaluations, EP Drills and based on discussions with the Shift Managers. Each weakness may be attributed to one or the other DEP Miss-classifications. Some of these weaknesses were also identified by a Nuclear Oversight Board Member based on his observation of the August 2011 EP drill.

• Unclear and confusing EALs and less than adequate Basis Documents

• Too many Priority Reading Assignments to clarify the EALs and Basis Document

• Lack of solid teamwork between the Operating Crew, CRS, STA and EC. Crew members were confused and concerned about their roles and responsibilities. Crew members held back or failed to provide information, which resulted in SM and CRS to trip the reactor.

• Poor communications between the Operating Crew, CRS, STA and EC. Briefs were ineffective at focusing on the crew priorities. Three way communication were not used for direction or when providing information relative to plant status.

• Poor diagnostics/interpretation of the transient events by the Operating Crew, CRS, STA and EC. Serious omissions, delays, or errors made in interpreting indications resulting in degraded plant conditions. Failed to use, or misused, or misinterpreted indications that resulted in improper diagnosis.

• Procedures were not followed correctly which impeded plant recovery or caused unnecessary degradation of plant conditions. Crews did not recognize EOI Entry Conditions.

• Failure of the STA to provide consistent & independent check of the EAL by EC (See NNs 201915131, 201932015 & 201937568).

Note: For Continuation see Part 4

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NuclearGuru | September 12, 2012 at 9:18 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago


SONGS Unit 2 – SONGS Shift Managers and Operating Weaknesses Continued

• Lack of Stringent OPS/NTD Evaluation and Remediation Criteria for SM/STA/OPS Crew to achieve excellence and eliminate above shortcomings to prevent DEP Failures

• Lack of practice by the Operating Crews, CRS, STA and EC following the coaching/critique provided by the OPS SM Supervisor and NTD Evaluators. This statement was confirmed by NOD during a discussion with a former Shift manager this morning.

NRC Report States, “Assuming that a steam line break would cause the degraded steam generator tubes to rupture during a “T/2” exposure period of 6 months yielded a change in the large early release frequency of 4E-6/yr. However, SCE informed the NRC that a calculation is under review that will likely indicate that the differential pressures generated by a steam line break would not be large enough to rupture the degraded tubes as long as operators successfully implemented their emergency procedures. If this is confirmed, the risk associated with steam line breaks will be significantly reduced.

Southern Californians may not be lucky this time, because there is a 6 percent probability per the SONGS emergency plan records for the last 6 years of Plant operators making a mistake. Therefore, this event with or without an earthquake/main steam line break can cause a potential reactor meltdown of SONGS Unit 2 resulting in a Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear and Chernobyl disaster in Southern Californians Backyard.

Southern Californians, are you willing to live with the impact? If not, write to your Congressman or City Council to Protest the Restart of SONGS Unit 2. After all you pay the bills for Southern California Edison, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, California Public Utilities Commission Officials and all the Elected Politicians in the Country. Would you allow a Nuclear Disaster to happen, while these guys are enjoying their lives, partying and filling their pockets without any regard for your safety?

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NuclearGuru | September 12, 2012 at 9:28 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Note: For Continuation see Part 4 above


San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 & 3 should be decontaminated and decommissioned (dismantled) without delay because Southern Californians do not want to take the risk of a Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in their Backyard. The Aging San Onofre Watergate Radiation Nightmare should be replaced by new 4-500 MW Gas Fired Units with New Intelligent Management, which respects and not retaliates against workers for earning Performance Bonuses.

Sunlight is the Earth's primary source of energy. The sun is a gigantic nuclear reactor. Human beings have to rely for the time being on Nuclear Power Plants to produce safe and cheap electricity. This is crucial for their existence and to be able t6 enjoy the modern comforts provided by the 21st Century Technology due to shortage of non-renewable fossil fuels and expensive environmental friendly renewable energy technologies. No Government, Rules, Organization, Technology, Safety and Design Features, and Quality Assurance/Inspection Procedures can guarantee 100% protection of the human beings from radiological accidents caused by Natural Disasters. However, there is no moral/legal excuse for radiological accidents caused by Bad Equipment Design/Fabrication Methods, Operator Negligence, Regulatory Negligence, Unapproved Tests and Experiments, Consistent Organizational Weakness, Poor Maintenance Practices, Fires, Retaliatory Profit- Motivated Management and Repeat Human Performance Errors.

Southern Californians do not want damaged San Onofre Replacement Steam Generators to be restarted for them to act as a Test Laboratory for NRC/SCE/MHI to determine the real root cause of tube damage. The restart approach to reduced power operations is unacceptable because, “Many more damaged tubes in the steam generators due to steam voiding, Flowering Effects and other factors can break catastrophically and create a Southern California’s Fukushima. SCE wants to run Unit 2 (Unit 3 is planned to be defueled), so they can make some money and avoid an investigation by the CPUC of what went wrong.

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NuclearGuru | September 12, 2012 at 9:35 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Note: For Continuation see Part 5 above


What went wrong at San Onofre is a classic tale of Bad Equipment Design, Financial Greed and Time Pressures, Regulatory Negligence/Cover-up, Unapproved Tests and Experiments, Poor Industry Benchmarking, Consistent Equipment Failures, Poor Maintenance Practices, Bad Management Structure, Retaliation against Nuclear Safety Concerns and Repeat Human Performance Errors. Like Ace Hoffman Says, “The Citizens of Southern California, one of the most beautiful places on earth, are put at great risk by continued operation of San Onofre. It doesn't generate cheap power. It is the most expensive power in the world (when all the costs to society are taken into account). And it's obviously not reliable -- reliable "base load capacity", that has always been a claim of the nuclear industry and nuclear energy institute.”

Frankly, San Onofre has the worst record of addressing nuclear personnel/nuclear safety concerns (e.g. Billon Dollars Wasted Steam Generators, Fire/Safety, Lack of Station Ownership of Emergency Preparedness, Poor Maintenance, Inefficient Work Control, Uncontrolled Configuration Control, Lack of Adherence to Convoluted/Complicated Procedures, Inhuman Attendance Policy, Low Employee Morale, Harassment, Retaliation, Intimidation, Demotions, Be Here Now, Cyber Security Program, Lack of Solid Team Work & Alignment between Divisions, etc.).

Like One SONGs Worker says, “These Profit Driven Hungry Tigers are running San Onofre like a “Nazi Concentration Camp.” The present SONGS Management Structure does not have the capability/ability to Operate Nuclear Units and address these personnel/nuclear safety concerns. Existing SONGs employees with New Reformed/Humble Management can be retrained to operate these Gas-fired Units in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Public, Rate Payers, EIX Share Holders, Workers, NRC, CPCU, Workers, San Clemente Green, Friends of the Earth and News Media will be happy. Humans have only had one life to live. SONGS does not give the appearance of a Democratic and Civil America. SONGS Retaliatory Managers have to be taught to treat the workers with dignity and respect. Every SONGS Worker has a Constitutional Right to live in harmony and peace. One of the best SONGS Shift Manager had an argument with the Plant Manager and the Shift Manager said, I do not want to operate the damaged Unit 2 and put the public lives and my License on Line. So just like the SONGS Fire Engineer, who resigned to serve the public and protest against the nuclear ratiliation and harrassment, the Shift Manager also did the Honorable Thing, resigned and left for a nice vacaation. More Later

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NuclearGuru | September 12, 2012 at 11:13 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Cyber Security Initial Awareness Training - SONGS Leaders Proudly Say "SONGS Procedure Violation, No Problem, Problem has been addressed”. When Reporters ask SONGS and NRC, NRC and SONGS either don’t Respond or Reply with Pride, "No Problem, Problem has been addressed.

When the SONGS Leaders listed below and more than 1000 employees are out of out of compliance with a SONGS procedure, It is a significant breakdown of Quality Assurance Program, NEGATIVE Management Behavior. “You cannot borrow from Peter and pay Paul.” By citing that these leaders have taken the EIX Cyber Security Initial Awareness Training, It is OK to Violate A SONGS Procedure. This does not fit the Model Behaviors and Expectations of the SONGS Leaders specified in the SONGS Excellence Book, which is signed by the SONGS SVP/CNO Pete Dietrich. SONGS has a successful and dark history of procedure violations, culture of harassment, discrimination, false perceptions, cover-up and nuclear retaliation. Is it the way to operate an Unsafe INPO 4 Plant with the worst safety record and Steam Generator Problems. On the Top, SCE charges the Rate Payers 700 Million Dollars for defective SCE designed and MHI Fabricated Radiation Steaming Crucibles (after opposition by SDG&E) and continue to charge 54 million dollars a month with no lights?


Cyber Security Initial Awareness Training and Annual Requalification Training is a SONGS Specific Procedural Requirement (In Effect for the Last Three years) for all Station Employees with Unescorted Red Badge Access. Based on an Audit of T2000 Computer System Training Records, the following leaders never took SONGS Cyber Security Initial Awareness Training (Data Verified on 5/19/2012)

SONGS LEADERS never took the cyber security initial awareness training
Pete Dietrich - SVP/CNO - Executive Management
Tom McCool - Plant Manager - Executive Management

Annual requalification cyber security awareness training expired
Doug Bauer Site Manager/Vice President
Executive Management - Cyber Security Program Management Sponsor

T2000 - Out of 15 Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members, 5 have never taken the Cyber Security Initial Awareness Training and the Continuing Yearly Training (ENCODE 3NPCSAT). 6 Leaders Cyber Security Awareness Continuing Training (ENCODE 3NPCSAT) is overdue. These 11 Leaders are not qualified for Life Time Cyber Security Technical Training (ENCODE 3T90816). At least 4 of these 11 Leaders are member of the SONGS Emergency Response Organization (ERO Roster) and their training gaps (ENCODE 3NPCSAT) MAY POTENTIALLY impact compliance with the federal regulations.

ARC - Review Request - Continuation of NN 201992954 - 3NPCSAT GAPS
3NPCSAT - SONGS Nuclear Power Plant Cyber Security Awareness is required WBT for personnel that hold unescorted access to the Protected Area. The requirement is stated in section of SO123-XXI-TPD-GET.

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CaptD | September 13, 2012 at 4 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Meeting Update: via the NRC Blog
Meeting the Challenges of the Next SONGS Meeting
For the past three months, Region IV staff has been trying to find a venue large enough to accommodate such a potentially large group. After much effort we have been able to find a facility that meets all of our needs: The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif. The two-part meeting on October 9 will run from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The first part of the meeting will be a roundtable discussion with observation by members of the public, followed by a question and answer session between the NRC staff and the public. The hotel does charge a nominal parking fee, so attendees are encouraged to car pool.

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CaptD | September 13, 2012 at 4:01 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

1. According to some News Paper Comments and Industry Reports in 2004, the going price for each 620 Ton CE Replacement Steam Generator was estimated between 200-250 Million Dollars (Per Piece). How did SCE CNO/President in 2004 convince MHI to build such large complicated and premium generators for 569 million dollars, which is almost 230 million dollars short of the market price and funds approved by CPCU?

2. Since MHI had experience building only Fort Calhoun Generator of less than 300 tons, how did the SCE Engineers Technically Qualify MHI?

3. Which other utilities’ QA Program, SCE took credit to approve Mitsubishi’s quality assurance program. Fort Calhoun?, French? Belgium? Japan?

4. How come SCE did not apply to NRC for increasing the plugging limit for Old CE Generators, so this they would have had more time to think, research and not rush according to Michael Peevey?

5. Which CE Replacement Generator US Utilities SCE benchmark to develop such detailed design and performance specifications or they just modified the Old Generator Specifications with New Industry Information? Were the engineers, who wrote, checked and approved the specifications were steam generator experts or was it another steam generator expert in the background, who directed all the work?

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CaptD | September 13, 2012 at 4:01 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

6. Where did all the claims of challenges, reward, innovations and teamwork between SCE and MHI go wrong?

7. Were the SCE Engineers sent to Japan to check MHI work and approve documents/test results were qualified in that field, or they were just in the training/sight-seeing process?

8. Who made the decision to make all these numerous design changes and determined the changes were "Like for Like" and did not need a Licensing Amendment Process?

9. Which SCE Engineer furnished all these changes, information/documents to which NRC Engineer, who decided it was OK to proceed without a Licensing Amendment Process?

10. Which SCE engineer approved/validated the MHI Thermal-Hydraulic FIT-III
FIVATS code Inputs and Calculations?

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CaptD | September 13, 2012 at 4:02 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Questions Cont:
11. To get 10% heat transfer equivalent by switching from Alloy 600 To alloy 690, SCE needed to add 935 tubes, but they only added 377 tubes. What happened to the balance of 568 tubes? Were the length of 9727 tubes increased and by how much to make up for the 533 tubes?

12. How come the SCE Engineers did not question the MHI benchmarking, verification and validation of the FIT-III thermal-hydraulic model?

13. Howcome the SCE engineers did not contact their counter parts at PVNGS for information/advice, since PVNGS has the Largest CE Replacement Generators (800 Tons) in the world, were built in early 2001-2005 time frames and are running successfully?

14. Were the OLD CE Steam Generators and new replacement generators exact in Thermal Output (MWe) or were there minor differences?

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CaptD | September 13, 2012 at 4:02 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Why are all these questions important?

The answers will help determine if the SoCal rate payers or SCE + SDG&E shareholders have to foot the bill for SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) which will be over a BILLION DOLLARS...

Remember, SoCal rate payers are now also paying about 65 Million dollars a month for the SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) yet they are receiving nothing in return except more Nuclear Baloney* (NB)...

This money would be much better spent adding additional Solar (of all flavors) capacity and then jump starting the SoCal economy with the multibillion dollar decommissioning of SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency).


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CaptD | September 13, 2012 at 4:08 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

San Onofre nuclear plant could be offline until 2013
Comment snip
According to SONGS Insiders, MHI and SCE were in
San Juan Capistrano Last week discussing MHI Role in Repairs of SONGS Units 2
& 3 and return of $137 million dollars warrantee money. These sources
say MHI is not budging from their position that all the work was performed by
MHI in accordance with SCE Design and Performance Specifications and SCE
Engineers approved all the testing and documents. NRC reports point several
deficiencies with MHI work (e.g., Thermal-Hydraulic Computer Code under
estimated the Margin to Fluid Elastic Stability, Wrong Design of Unit 2
Retainer Bars, Welding Defects in Unit 3 Divider Plate, Use of Mock-up Test
data not Specific to SONGs, etc.). The deficiencies with SCE's work are
hidden or not explained in the AIT Report. According to insiders, the negotiations
involve one rep from both companies, and if both of them disagree, then both
SCE/MHI select a third person for arbitration. Let us say, MHI gives
money back to SCE, is SCE or CPCU going to rerun the 1 Billion Dollars
to ratepayers?

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CaptD | September 13, 2012 at 7:19 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Here are some advanced questions for the Public and all Reporters to ask NRC prior to the Public Meeting scheduled for San Onofre on Oct. 9

1. Has the MHI Root Cause Evaluation been completed and available for Public Viewing on the NRC Website?

2. When will the SCE Restart Plan and supporting documents be available for Public Viewing on the NRC Website?

3. Will the NRC Chairwoman, other Commissioners and/or Senator Barbara Boxer be available at the Public Meeting to assure public of a thorough, unbiased and complete investigation by NRC?

4. Besides SCE, will MHI Representatives be available to answer questions by the Public Groups?

5. Which interest groups will be consulted to have representation on the Table? How many Representatives? Who will decide?

Friends of the Earth

Fairewinds Energy Education

San Clemente Green

The Committee to Bridge the Gap

General Public

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CaptD | September 14, 2012 at 8:18 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

More from who I call, "Nuclear Deep Throat":

I'm aware of more than 15 anonymous notifications written by former and current songs employees. Employees wrote these notifications in first six months of 2012 expressing nuclear safety concerns for steam generators, cyber security, excessive collection and use of ssn, songs fatigue management, unprofessional conduct by management, vacation policy and policy conflicts, etc. Employee write these notifications thinking no body knows their identity and they will be safe from management retaliation. It costs a SONGS a lot of money to address these chronic safety concerns.

However anonymous notifications are NOT confidential. As soon as the SAVE button on the SONGS SAP Computer System is clicked, the SONGS Management can see the contents and name of the writer of an anonymous NN. This is in violation of Energy Reorganization Act of 1978 & Nuclear Regulatory Commission Policy, “Freedom of Employees in the Nuclear Industry To Raise Safety Concerns Without Fear Of Retaliation.”

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CaptD | September 14, 2012 at 8:18 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Nuclear Deep throat Continued:
Some SONGS Managers and Leaders encourage employees to write these notifications, so they can know what the employee is seeing negative in the plant. Instead of correcting the situation, which can be very expensive at times and may be a bad reflection on their performance. Therefore, they then use these as tools of retaliation. As a result, workers are continuously being retaliated, wrongfully terminated, retired and demoted for raising concerns about nuclear safety, either internally or with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. SONGS Employees Concerns and Human Resources Departments have been totally ineffective in stopping the Ruthless and Cheap Tactics deployed by the these Managers/Supervisors in retaliating against the Nuclear Whistle Blowers. These tactics involve documenting Employee’s Low Performance on PDPs, rigging pre-planned and fake collaborative evidence to demonstrate unusual behavior and angry patterns of employees and sending these employees for Drug Testing, MMPI (a > 500 -Question Psychological Test) and to the Industrial Psychologist for evaluation. The end result is demotion, disciplinary action, termination and some times these employees cannot seek employment at another Nuclear Power Plant. SCE Leaders work with their attorneys, investigators and cook up the evidence with their well-trained supervisors and favorite employees. They spend a lot of money in preparing clean files, show it to the NRC. NRC comes and interviews pre-selected employees, plus some of the employees are afraid to say any thing to the NRC. NRC’s/SONGs role in protection of workers from retaliation at SONGS in compliance with the Federal Laws has been less than Satisfactory.

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CaptD | September 14, 2012 at 8:19 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Nuclear Deep throat Continued 2:

Here are the Latest NRC Finding on SONGS Safety Violations. See for yourself and decide:

From: Pete Dietrich, Senior VP and Chief Nuclear Officer (Broadcast)
To: Date: 07/30/2012 06:39 AM
Subject: Formal SONGS NRC Biennial PI&R Inspection Report Notes Successes and Zero Findings


To: All SONGS Employees and Contractors

Last week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released the formal results of its biennial Problem Identification and Resolution (PI&R) Inspection. I am proud to tell you that NRC conclusions, after examination of more than 250 documents and processes, did in fact echo the preliminary outstanding success we reported to you in mid-June following the exit meeting. There were ZERO findings, which is a testament to the engagement, leadership, ownership and dedication of SONGS employees that we witness each and every day. The results report made special note of SONGS' achievement in establishing a safety conscious work environment in which employees feel free to raise safety concerns both to the licensee (SONGS) and to the NRC without fear of retaliation.

The NRC's biennial inspection team, which completed its work in early June, concluded that responses to questions and topics during focus group sessions with SONGS employees did not reveal any indication that safety was not the highest priority for our station.

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CaptD | September 14, 2012 at 8:20 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Nuclear Deep throat Continued 3:

The inspection team also reported that SONGS' implementation of our Corrective Action Program (CAP) and the overall performance related to identifying, evaluating and resolving problems was effective. The formal results of this report come at a great time for our station and further emphasizes the tremendous strides we have made over the last couple of years and the need to stay focused on and vigilant in our efforts as Nuclear Professionals. While we still have hurdles before us, successes like this speak volumes on our ability to efficiently and effectively clear them as long as we refuse to be distracted from the tasks at hand.

Congratulations on completing yet another step toward ensuring that this will be our finest hour! Be definitely proud, but never satisfied!


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CaptD | September 14, 2012 at 4:26 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Very suspect timing. SCE files for restart of unit 2 on October 5. But because of the weekend & Columbus Day the report won’t reach anyone in the NRC until Tuesday, October 9 the day of our next meeting w/NRC which means they won’t have read it, so they won’t discuss it at the October 9 meeting. Which is of course what we all want to talk about. Does anyone think this timing was a coincidence?

NRC rents a building for almost $24,000 to have a public meeting about the many problems at San Onofre Generating Waste Station when we have given them leads on two buildings for rent for 1 day under $500 with all the needed facilities. But at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel they want us to pay $10 more for parking, which will easily make the hotel another 5 to $6000.

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CaptD | September 14, 2012 at 4:37 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

PREDICTION: SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) will prove to be the most expensive nuclear Debacle in the World not counting the Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster triple meltdown in Fukushima Japan; so the question now is who will pay for it, SoCal rate payers or the shareholders of SCE and SDG&E who have had record profits every year for the past few years!

Unless the NRC refuses to allow SCE to restart SanO, the NRC will become an accomplice to the biggest nuclear rip off the World has ever known thanks in part to the CPUC not doing their job by asking for a full investigation and CA Gov. Brown for "Looking the other way" while the CPUC fails the public's trust...

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CaptD | September 14, 2012 at 5:46 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

The SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) started on Jan 31, 2012 and therefore has been going on for about 8.5 months...

Therefore at $65 Million per month, SoCal ratepayers have been charged (8 months X $65 Million Dollars per month) 552.5 Million Dollars which has gone to SCE and SDG&E for no electricity generated!

Said another way SoCal ratepayers have paid about HALF A BILLION DOLLARS in what I believe will be the biggest Energy Boondoggle in US History!

If a bank in CA was robbed and they stole a couple of million dollars, it would be on both the Local and National news, yet MSM in Southern California is almost silent about SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) half a billion dollar Utility "heist".

Ask yourself why, then ask all your elected Leaders why they are silent!

Each day we wait for a refund is costing all of US about 2 million Dollar more.

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CaptD | September 16, 2012 at 9:56 a.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Big money Utilities don't want to lose their market share and they are making it almost impossible for Solar to be installed! Until the people of California DEMAND freedom from their Energy Taskmasters, they will continue to be slaves to them...

It is amazing to think that the people of California who pride themselves on being so independent allow this Energy SHAM to continue, especially since they like many other Countries are totally dependent on Middle Eastern oil or RISKY Nuclear!

Until our Governor decides to shake up the CPUC, California will continue to drag its feet instead of race toward Energy independence; just imagine, we could be Solar (of all flavors) Energy EXPORTERS and jump start our economy providing we have true energy Leadership instead of a Nuclear Fix*


The nuclear industries policy of donating massive amounts of money to insure that all levels of Government support Nuclear Energy to protect their market share despite it’s enormous environmental RISK of yet another Fukushima, instead of supporting less expensive, NON RISKY Eco Friendly Solar energy.

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NuclearGuru | September 19, 2012 at 7:57 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

SONGS $569 Million Replacement Steam Generators

1. Background:

More than 100 Replacement Steam Generators (RSGs) in the USA have been installed with Alloy 690 TT Tubes that were designed, built and tested by Westinghouse, BWI and MHI (at Fort Calhoun). These steam generators have very few plugged tubes according to NUREG-1841 and Prof. Dan Hirsch's September 12, 2012 Report.

MHI has built more than 100 Steam Generators (SG) since 1970. Only Japan’s Mihama Unit 2 SG built by MHI had one tube rupture due to a displaced Anti Vibration Bar and that caused an IAEA Level 3 Nuclear accident!

2. Mihama Nuclear Accident Lessons Learnt by MHI

On February 9th, 1991, a heat transfer tube (SG tube) in a steam generator of the No.2 pressurized water reactor at the Mihama nuclear power station of the Kansai Electric Power Company broke off during a rated output operation. As a result, about 55 tons of primary cooling water leaked out from the SG tube into the secondary cooling loop, and the reactor was scrammed by operation of the ECCS (Emergency Core Cooling System). The failure of the SG tube was caused by fretting fatigue resulting from contact of the SG tube with the supporting plate for the SG tubes, because the AVB, which functions to prevent flow-induced vibration, was not inserted deep enough onto the SG tubes in the steam generator. The scale of the accident was ranked "level 3" on the international nuclear events scale (INES).

After the accident, a detailed examination of the AVB for the SG tubes in the steam generators of all reactors in the Kansai Electric Company was carried out. As a result, lack of sufficient insertion depth of the AVB was found in some heat exchangers. These AVBs were replaced with new ones and installed at the designated depth in the steam generators. Moreover, the steam generator of the No.2 pressurized water reactor was also replaced with a new one, because many of the SG tubes were removed from the generator for failure analysis.

Lessons Learnt and Causes: Ignorance, Insufficient Knowledge, Poor Understanding, Production, Hardware Production, Production of Machinery and Equipment, Heat Exchanger, SG tube, Supporting Plate, AVB, Installation, Regular Operation, Nonobservance of Procedure, Error of Mounting Position, Lack of Insert Depth, Failure, Fracture/Damage, Flow-induced Vibration, Fretting Fatigue, Failure of SG tube, Usage, Maintenance/Repair, Inspection, Lack of Inspection, Failure, Large-Scale Damage, Leakage of Coolant

KITUNAI, Yoshio (Japan Crane Association)
KOBAYASHI, Hideo (Yokohama National University)

Continued Part 2

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NuclearGuru | September 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Part 2 - SONGS $569 Million Replacement Steam Generators

3. Improvements in MHI SG Technology

There is no standard design for a replacement SG because the specifications and plant requirements vary among customers. The dimensions of recently exported SGs, in which widely varied specifications were applied. However, by applying the following latest advanced technologies to all SGs, improvements were made which cope with all past problems such as tube corrosion, vibration and wear, fatigue, and water hammer, and products which satisfy customers' advanced demands for heat transfer capability and moisture content are being supplied.
(1) Tube material of high nickel alloy TT690 with excellent corrosion resistance.
(2) Outstanding tube support plate design, tube expansion technology in tube sheets.
(3) Tube support structure at U-bends with high support function.
(4) High-performance moisture separators.

Of these advanced demands for recent replacement SGs, items (3) and (4) deserve special attention. The tube support structure at a U-bend is a unique design with reduced flow resistance while assuring a high support function by increasing the number of support points. Together with excellent assembly technology during manufacturing, high reliability against vibration and wear of heat transfer tubes is achieved. MHI has developed a small, high-performance moisture separator by optimizing the geometry of the parts based on extensive field pressure tests. As a result, replacement SGs corresponding to power up-rating and/or advanced moisture requirements can be designed.

Ref. MHI, Ltd. Technical Review Vol. 43 No. 4 (Dec. 2006)

Continued Part 3

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NuclearGuru | September 19, 2012 at 8:08 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Part 3 - SONGS $569 Million Replacement Steam Generators

4. Challenges and Rewards of Innovative Design of RSGs

Boguslaw J. Olech (Southern California Edison Co.), Tomoyuki Inoue (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.)

This paper describes major challenges associated with, and rewards resulting from, an innovative/improved design of the Replacement Steam Generators (RSGs) for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The SONGS consists of twin plants (Units 2 and 3) rated at 3358 MWt (~1180 MWe) each. SONGS Unit 2 began commercial operation in 1983 and Unit 3 in 1984. The plants were originally equipped with CE Model 3340 recirculating steam generators. The Original Steam Generators (OSGs) employed heat transfer tubing made of Alloy 600 Mill Annealed (MA) and the carbon steel egg-crate type tube supports. The OSGs were designed for a 40-year service life. Continuing to operate with highly degraded steam generators can involve substantial economic risks from forced outages, extended refueling outages, as well as the direct costs of inspections and repairs. To address these risks, and consistent with industry experience, Edison has set a 21.4% plugging level as the technical end-of-life of the SONGS OSGs. The worst case forecast indicated that this plugging level could be reached by approximately 2012. The contract for design, fabrication and delivery of the RSGs was awarded to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI). As specified, the RSGs were supposed to be a replacement in-kind for the OSGs in terms of form, fit and function. At the same time, however, the RSG specification included many new requirements derived from both industry and SONGS operating experience, and the requirement to use the best and most suitable materials of construction. These requirements were aimed at improving the RSG longevity, reliability, performance and maintainability. Also, the specification called for very tight fabrication tolerances of the components and sub-assemblies, especially the tubesheet and the tube U-bend support structure. In addition, SONGS steam generators are one of the largest in the industry, which called for innovative design solutions and improved fabrication processes when working on the RSGs. Conceivably, the MHI and Edison project teams faced many tough challenges throughout the entire project in the design, manufacturing and QC areas, when striving to meet the specification requirements. Both teams jointly tackled all these challenges in an effective and timely manner. At the end, MHI delivered the RSGs which incorporated all the latest improvements found throughout the industry, as well as innovative solutions specific to the SONGS RSGs. In Unit 2, the RSGs were installed and tested in 2009/10 and in Unit 3 in 2010/11. The RSG post-installation test results met or exceeded the test acceptance criteria for all specified test parameters, thus properly rewarding the effort put into their fabrication.

Continued Part 4

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NuclearGuru | September 19, 2012 at 8:11 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Part 5 - SONGS $569 Million Replacement Steam Generators

5. Edison Press Statements about new SONGS MHI RSGs

SONGS Chief Nuclear Officer Pete Dietrich Jan 10 2012. “The plant’s largest components — steam generators — are just two years old and represent the safest, most efficient 21st century machinery.” Source: MarketWatch

The installation is “a major milestone in the station’s history,” said Ross Ridenoure, Southern California Edison senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “We’re committed to making sure it’s done right.” January 28th, 2009, Source: LA Times

Edison President John R. Fielder said new steam generators are cheaper for ratepayers than building new power plants or buying power on the open market. December 16th, 2005 Source: LA Times

The new steam generators are designed to last longer, said Mike Wharton, manager of the steam-generator replacement project. “They are designed for 40 years,” he said. “We expect we’ll actually be able to get 60 years out of them … better materials, better design. You learn over the course of years what works well and what doesn’t, and you try to build it into the next generation.” December 24th, 2009 Source: OC Register

6. Nuclear Energy Institute qualifies MHI as “U.S. Nuclear Plant Designer” Edison

Washington, DC, February 23, 2009 – Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems, Inc. (MNES), has successfully qualified for membership in a leading U.S. industry trade group in the special category of “U.S. nuclear plant designers,” the first such recognition of a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Japanese company.

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) designation places MNES, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) of Tokyo, among three other nuclear plant designers in the group’s membership. The three other companies that have qualified for inclusion in the nuclear plant designer category are AREVA, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Westinghouse Electric Company.

7. MHI’s New US-APWR

The US-APWR is the slightly modified design to comply with US requirements based on technology accomplished of APWR (Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor): (1) High performance, The world's largest electrical output: 1,700MW class, (2) The world's highest level of thermal efficiency, (3) High economy, (4) The shortest construction period in the world, (5) The world all-time low cost of construction, (6) Enhanced reliability: The latest element technology is proven, and (7) Enhanced safety: Safety of the top-level world (Simplified configuration with 4 mechanical sub-system, In-containment refueling water storage pit (utilization of advanced accumulators).

Continued Part 6

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NuclearGuru | September 19, 2012 at 8:16 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Part 6 - SONGS $569 Million Replacement Steam Generators

8. NRC Design Certification Application Review - U.S. Advanced Pressurized-Water Reactor (US-APWR)

Who: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

What: Application for Standard Design Certification for the U.S. Advanced Pressurized-Water Reactor (US-APWR), a 1700 MWe [Core Thermal Power 4,451-MWt pressurized-water reactor (PWR)]

When: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries submitted the Standard Design Certification Application on December 31, 2007. The staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is currently performing a detailed review of that application.

Expected NRC Approval – March 2015


9. COL applications submitted for ESBWR and US-APWR

Combined construction and operating license (COL) applications for three GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) ESBWR reactors and two Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) US-APWR reactors were submitted to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in September.

The first COL application for the 1700MWe US-APWR design was filed on 19 September, for two units at Luminant’s Comanche Peak nuclear plant near Glen Rose, Texas. On the same day, Luminant (formerly TXU) and MHI announced they had entered into an agreement to form a joint venture to advance the development of the two potential new nuclear reactors.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, Luminant would retain an 88% ownership share and MHI a 12% stake. The joint venture is expected to continue development of the COL application and fund project development costs during the period preceding issuance of the COL. The joint venture’s closing is currently anticipated to occur before the end of the year.

Luminant and MHI said they would seek support for financing from the US and Japanese governments and that a loan guarantee application form has already been submitted to the US Department of Energy. In December 2007, MHI submitted an application to have the US-APWR design certified by the NRC.

Ref. Nuclear Engineering International, 24 September 2008

Continued Part 7

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NuclearGuru | September 19, 2012 at 8:26 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Part 7 - SONGS $569 Million Replacement Steam Generators

10. Two Important Questions That Need to Be Answered

A. Why did the SONGS Replacement Steam Generators suffer so much degradation so soon, as compared to all these other SG’s?

B. If NRC Region IV Staff thinks MHI made mistakes in the design and fabrication of SONGS RSGs as a Appendix B Qualified Supplier, then why would the NRC even consider licensing MHI APWR plants in USA even though MHI has been recognized by NEI as a Nuclear Power Plant Design Manufacturer and the NRC is now in the process of licensing MHI's 1700 MW APWR in USA?

11. DAB Safety Team Conclusions and Honest Answers from Regional Administrator for the NRC Region IV Office, Mr. Elmo E. Collins

The DAB Safety Team believes it is primarily the fault of SCE’s Design and Performance Specifications coupled with all the numerous design changes that were different from what they told the NRC they were doing. These changes were not correctly identified by MHI’s Fabrication and Testing Technology or their Thermal-Hydraulic Computer Codes, which was found to be faulty. If SCE had gone through a complete NRC Licensing Amendment Process, as required by replacement SG’s that are not “like for like” replacements, which these certainly were NOT, this engineering debacle probably never would have happened.

Factual and unbiased answers from the NRC consistent with President Obama's and Senator Barbara Boxer's Open Government Initiative will help the people of Southern California and the rest of the USA decide about the future functionality of nuclear power in USA.

The DAB Safety Team asks that NRC respond to these basic questions identified in Item 10 above ASAP, so that we can review the SONGS Unit 2 Restart Plan and MHI Root Cause Evaluation (If NRC will be kind enough to publish it on NRC Website and provide to public. SCE and MHI should also provide these documents ASAP for Public acceptance?) before commenting at the NRC’s Oct. 9, 2012 Meeting about San Onofre! Otherwise it is a waste of time for the public and Violation of Freedom Information Act and inconsistent with President Obama's and Senator Boxer's Open Government Initiative.

End of Article

Thanks for the opportunity KPBS to post these comments. DAB Safety Team is independently investigating the San Onofre Replacement Generator Tube Leak and other San Onofre Nuclear Safety Concerns for the Southern California Public, News Media, SONGS Plant Workers and Ratepayers. Please provide any comments or questions by email at />

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