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Judge Orders Edison To Show San Onofre Cost Is Reasonable

Southern California Edison has until March 15 to file papers showing the nearly $700 million cost of the troubled steam generators at San Onofre nuclear plant is reasonable.

Evening sets on the San Onofre atomic power plant December 6, 2004 in norther...
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Above: Evening sets on the San Onofre atomic power plant December 6, 2004 in northern San Diego County, south of San Clemente, California.

Edison never filed the paperwork required to justify the cost of installing the new steam generators back in 2011. Nor did it in 2012, the same year that San Onofre was shut down after a radioactive leak was detected inside one of those new steam generators.

San Diego lawyer Mike Aguirre represents a ratepayer who argued that Edison is long overdue to file the paperwork. This week, a judge agreed and ruled that Edison must submit the application by March 15.

The order comes two weeks after Senator Barbara Boxer alleged that an internal report shows that Edison knew there were problems with those steam generators before it installed them, a charge Edison denies. Aguirre said Boxer’s allegation combined with the shutdown poses a big challenge for the utility.

“If you ignore red flags that what you have is defective, how can you come back and say you acted reasonably especially when you are trying to get the costs in 2013 and in 2012 after you know that those red flags were in fact a reality," he said.

Edison says it had intended to submit the paperwork to state

regulators by March 15 even without the judge's ruling. The company has denied knowing the generators were faulty before installation.

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | February 23, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I think many readers are missing the point that San Onofre's replacement steam generators (RSG) have MAJOR design flaws (Nuclear RSG Lemons), they now have more damage than the rest of the US nuclear "fleet" combined and one is less than a year old and the other is less than two years old!

Edison told ratepayers they would last 18+ years and save them over a Billion Dollars and now about two years later we have PAID 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS and are still paying 54 million dollars a month while Edison tries to figure out how to not get stuck with the bill!

Edison is trying to sell US a bridge, A Bridge To N☢ Energy!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | February 23, 2013 at 12:12 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Another great KPBS Blog about San Onofre's problems:

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | February 23, 2013 at 6:02 p.m. ― 4 years ago

RE: Tubes in the San Onofre year-old, poorly designed, 65-foot tall, 640-ton steam generator. Actually it was one tube (as far as we know) that started to leak that caused the shutdown because what was leaking was radioactive core coolant which was first only monitored but then the “leak” started increasing in volume so fast that Edison had no choice but to shut the reactor down. Later upon further inspection and testing, not 1 but 8 tubes failed in-situ testing (done in place under controlled conditions) which is something that has NEVER happened before in the history of the entire US Nuclear “fleet”. Even the NRC called that a serious safety concern and they are now, A YEAR LATER, still trying completely understand how that occurred. It is also is important to note that during this same period after Jan. 31, 2012, Unit 2 just happened to be shutdown for refueling and when they inspected it, one of its tubes had 90% wall wear which is well above the 35% safety standard, yet Edison had no idea it was even damaged!

More on why these tubes are so important here: Nuclear Power Plant Basics


Important Note: While each of the steam generator’s 9,700+ tubes is about the size of a penny, each with a wall thickness thinner than a dime (0.043 inches) to help transfer heat, but they also serve as a vitally important boundary between the HOT radioactive coolant circulating inside the tubing which MUST remain separated from the non-radioactive water/steam mixture which circulates outside the tubing. A leak, crack or worse, a complete failure of one or more of any of the tubes inside the steam generator would allow highly radioactive, very hot, pressured coolant to mix directly into the non-radioactive water/steam mixture which would then immediately escape into the environment. Additionally, should a main steam line break (MSLB) or any other similar problems occur, the rapid loss of core coolant that is needed to constantly cool the radioactive fuel rods in the reactor could lead to a catastrophic meltdown of the entire radioactive reactor core.

More on that here: Nuclear Power Plant Basics

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Avatar for user 'susanmartha'

susanmartha | February 24, 2013 at 8:53 a.m. ― 4 years ago

suspected all along this story would become more and more bizarre, and i have not been disappointed.

what is most frustrating is the lack of information being given to those of us who would be fatally impacted by more "accidents" at this facility. the NRC seems laughably unengaged in dealing with this problem. i wonder what they doing with their time?

as for Edison .... give us back our money. you and your shareholders can eat the costs of the errors you made.

and finally, close San Onofre now. and forever.

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | February 26, 2013 at 5:23 p.m. ― 4 years ago

The NRC meeting on WED. Feb 27, 2013 at the NRC headquarters in Maryland will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it will be webcast!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | February 28, 2013 at 9:17 a.m. ― 4 years ago

Senator Boxer to NRC: ‘Careful’ before restarting San Onofre
Boxer says documents from a whistle blower show SoCal Edison was trying to avoid having to reapply for a permit and was “aware” the repairs made to the plant aren’t the ones that should have been done.

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Avatar for user 'BilllHawkins'

BilllHawkins | March 2, 2013 at 3:10 p.m. ― 4 years ago

Senator Boxer needs to start an inquiry with SCE/MHI Engineers testifying under oath as to what was wrong with the Original Combustion Engineering Steam Generators and what Industrial and Academic Research Benchmarking did they do to fix these problems in the SONGS MHI Replacement Steam Generators. Recommend a Joint Committee headed by US Justice Department and Independent Steam Generators Expert specializing in Thermal Hydraulics, Chemical, Nuclear, Reactor Engineering, Computer Modeling, Design Bases Accidents, 10 CFR 50.59 and FSAR. These Experts need to determine the exact Root Cause of damage to San Onofre Unit 3 Replacement Steam Generators and a damage assessment difference between Units 2 & 3.

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | March 3, 2013 at 8:33 a.m. ― 4 years ago

Ratepayers are still paying 54 Million Dollars a month to Edison and receiving ZERO energy, because of SCE's defectively designed Replacement Steam Generators which have now cost ratepayers 1.3 Billion Dollars...

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