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KPBS Special Coverage: Trouble At San Onofre

Southern California Edison has announced it will retire the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which has been offline since a small radiation leak in January 2012 led to the discovery of excessive wear on hundreds of steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water. Here's your manual to how it all began.

The Shutdown

The 'Small Leak' That Started It All

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San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station takes its Unit 3 reactor offline after an equipment problem sent a small, non-hazardous amount of radioactive gas into an auxiliary building and possibly into the atmosphere, authorities said.

2/1/12Read more

San Onofre's Problems Deepen

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San Onofre operator, Southern California Edison says it found more tube wear in Unit 2, similar though less serious than in Unit 3. As the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the plant will not restart until the root cause is discovered, California’s energy agencies gear up efforts to get substitute power from decommissioned power plants.

4/12/12Read more

Safety Concerns

Alison St. John, a KPBS News reporter, and Murray Jennex, a professor at San Diego State University and former consultant to San Onofre, talk to KPBS.

Tease photo: Insiders Say San Onofre Failed To Fix Fire Safety Problems This Year Despite 2010 Warning From Feds

Insiders Say San Onofre Failed To Fix Fire Safety Problems

Federal regulators warned Southern California Edison about fire safety lapses at San Onofre two years ago. Now KPBS has learned of continued employee complaints of fire risks at the nuclear plant.

8/1/12Read more

Tease photo: Quake Could Trigger San Onofre Shutdown, Officials Say

Quake Could Trigger San Onofre Shutdown, Officials Say

The troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant operated for three decades with equipment that could have temporarily cut off the plant’s emergency power supply in the event of an earthquake, government filings revealed.

5/30/12Read more

Financial Hurdles

Cost Benefit Analysis Underway At San Onofre

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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.

8/30/12Read more

Costs At Ailing Plant Top $300 Million

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Costs tied to the long-running shutdown at the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California have hit $317 million, and it's not clear if the ailing plant will return to full power, according to released documents.

11/2/12Read more

Tease photo: CPUC Comes Under Scrutiny For Ineffective Financial Management

CPUC Comes Under Scrutiny For Ineffective Financial Management

The agency holds a public meeting on the San Onofre nuclear plant, but is also under scrutiny from the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst.

2/21/13Read more

Restarting San Onofre

Report Critical Of Restarting Steam Generators

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A new report introduced to a U.S. Senate committee contends the steam generators at San Onofre are in much worse shape than publicly acknowledged, finding 400 times as many damaged steam generator tubes as in a typical nuclear reactor with new steam generators.

9/24/12Read more

NRC Responds To Problems At San Onofre

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejected a petition from Friends of the Earth asking for a license amendment for San Onore before considering a plan to restart the troubled plant. The amendment would have required public hearings.

11/8/12Read more

San Onofre's Future Still Hangs In The Balance

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Almost one year since the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was abruptly shut down due to a unexpected equipment problems, the discussion continues over Southern California Edison's proposal to partially restart the plant.

12/19/12Read more

Uncertain Future

Recent Developments

Tease photo: Two Years After San Onofre Shutdown Questions Remain

Two Years After San Onofre Shutdown Questions Remain

A leak led to the permanent closure of the San Onofre Nuclear power plant, but many questions remain. Who will pay for the enormous costs of the shutdown? And what does the trouble at San Onofre say about the safety of nuclear power?

1/30/14Read more

Permanently Closed

Tease photo: San Onofre To Be Permanently Closed

San Onofre To Be Permanently Closed

Southern California Edison announces it is retiring the remaining reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Decommissioning the plant will take 40 years and cost 1,100 jobs.

6/7/13Read more

Timeline Of Events