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San Onofre Nuclear Plant Shutdown: Rolling Blackouts Possible This Summer

Southern California Edison estimates the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will likely remain off line through August.

Southern California Edison is working to keep the lights on this summer in the absence of power coming from from the temporarily inactive San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

that led to the discovery of , San Onofre officials said this month the nuclear plant 

Edison International Chairman and CEO Ted Craver, in meetings with Southern California media representatives last Thursday, said that safety, not timelines, would determine when the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) restarts. 

"Due to safety inspections and testing that SCE is performing, the company expects to deliver a plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of July regarding the operation of SONGS Unit 2. The NRC, which must approve the restart of SONGS, will then need time to respond. As a result, SCE estimates SONGS likely will remain off line through August," an SCE released statement read. SONGS Unit 3 is also out of commission and is expected to take longer to come back on line, according to the statement.

Both SONGS units are currently shut down for inspections, analysis and testing. Unit 2 was taken out of service Jan. 9 for a planned outage. Unit 3 was taken off line Jan. 31 after station operators detected a leak in a steam generator tube.

The San Onofre station is jointly owned by SCE, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the City of Riverside. When operational, San Onofre generates about 2,200 megawatts of energy -- enough to power 1.4 million average homes at a given time.

Yesterday, Duane Cave, an SDG&E spokesman, addressed the San Clemente City Council.

"This will be the first summer [since the plant was built] we've ever gone without having San Onofre operating during summer," Cave said. "Customers must be made aware of the need to conserve during warm days more than ever before."

The ISO is the consortium that allocates electricity among utilities throughout the state.

Without the San Onofre nuclear plant, the California ISO figures show a capacity of 48,091 megawatts, Cave said. (One megawatt can power about 650 single-family homes.) The ISO estimates demand, during a normal summer, to reach only 46,352 megawatts—if lucky.

Diana June 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Air conditioning is a must for anyone that lives in Riverside County during the Summer, August being one of the hottest months of Summer. Those that reside in OC, San Clemente, and San Diego I would guess do not feel the high heat temps that we do in Riverside County, let's hope that those in the cooler temp areas will conserve and help us out here during the month of August. I am more concerned about rolling blackouts and not knowing when they will hit, with computers and other electronics this could really create major damage to anyone that is not prepared with surge protectors.
Keith Allen June 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM
"...enough to power 1.4 average homes at a given time" LOL, I assume you mean "...1.4 million average homes..." Spell check doesn't fill in missing words ;-)
Keith Allen June 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Diana, but don't you know, we're all just second rate citizens here in the I.E. and it's just too bad for us. If we don't like the weather we should just move! (Sarcasm fully intended)
Roberto June 14, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Thanks NoBama, just what we need.
Tonto June 14, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Everything Oblamer has SCREWED UP is all Bush's fault :) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DlTgrMCxPg

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