San Onofre: Shutting Down A Nuclear Power Plant

Monday, June 10, 2013
By Megan Burke, Patty Lane, Peggy Pico, Tom Fudge

The decision has been made to close the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station permanently.

The nuclear plant on the northern edge of San Diego County has provided energy for 40 years. But it's been closed for a year and a half because of excessive wear of the tubes that carry radioactive water through the plants two steam generators.

Those generators were newly installed and shut down when the tube wear was discovered. After a year and a half without producing power, Southern California Edison (SCE), the utility that runs the plant, made the decision to shut it down.

The company originally sought to run one of the generators at reduced power.

SCE has set aside $2 billion to cover the cost of taking the plant offline but it's not enough — the decommissioning fund is 90 percent full — and ratepayers may have to pay additional funds.

Attention also turns to the nuclear waste left at the site, how the spent fuel will be housed and whether there is any danger in keeping it onsite.