Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

Southern California Edison Releases Data On Faulty Steam Generators At San Onofre

Murray Jennex, San Onofre
Tube Wear Inside Steam Generators at San Onofre nuclear power plant.
GUESTS:Victor Dricks, NRC spokesman Murray Jennex, has worked at San Onofre and Associate Professor at SDSU's College of Business Administration Arnie Gunderson, nuclear consultant, wrote report for Friends of the Earth environmental group

Arnie Gunderson, San Onofre

Southern California Edison today released data on its newly installed steam generator tubes. It showed most of the tubes that were repaired were below the wall-thinning limit.

San Onofre was shut down in January after the discovery of a break in a tube that carries radioactive water. Edison has repaired 1317 tubes. The company now says that only 387 of the repaired or plugged tubes showed wear of more than 35 percent, which is the point at which a tube must be taken out of service and fixed.


But nuclear consultant Arnie Gundersen said Edison is carefully parsing its words.

He says regulations require an operator to replace tubes that are projected to hit that 35 percent threshold before the next time they’re checked.

“So their wording is disingenuous. A 20 percent wear on the tube means that it will be at 40 percent the next time you look at it and you have to replace that tube," Gundersen said.

Edison’s chief nuclear officer Pete Dietrich said the company is using the data collected through testing to develop repair plans.

“Safety continues to be the guiding principle behind all the work we are doing," Dietrich said.


Edison released the data one day after an environmental group issued a report calling San Onofre’s new steam generators the worst in the country.