PNP comment: And “they” want to destroy 4 perfectly well-maintained hydro-electric dams in the Klamath River? This is green electricity and salmon and fish are perfectly healthy. Destorying the dams will destroy the salmon runs, duh! — Editor Liz Bowen
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD
LOS ANGELES — Southern California utility officials are warning that blackouts in the region are possible this summer as a result of the sidelined San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The damaged plant is likely to remain sidelined until at least the end of August while investigators probe excessive wear in tubing that carries radioactive water, the plant’s operator said Thursday.
The officials say that if a heat wave hits while the twin-reactor plant is offline, rotating blackouts are a possibility. Utilities have been scrambling to find replacement power as a precaution, including restarting two retired natural gas-fired plants in Orange County.
Southern California Edison said in a statement that the company plans by the end of July to submit a plan to federal regulators to restart the Unit 2 reactor, where damage to tubes in its steam generators has been less severe than in its twin, Unit 3.
A proposal to restart either reactor must be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and that review could take weeks or longer.
Edison spokeswoman Jennifer Manfre said it’s likely the plant between San Diego and Los Angeles will remain shuttered at least through August.
The trouble began to unfold in January, when the Unit 3 reactor was shut down as a precaution after a tube break. Traces of radiation escaped at the time, but officials said there was no danger to workers or neighbors. Unit 2 had been taken offline earlier that month for maintenance, but investigators later found unexpected wear on hundreds of tubes in both units.