As Temperatures Rise, the Heat Is on to Re-Open San Onofre Nuclear Plant
As temperatures are rising in Southern California, so are tensions over the future of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, also known as SONGS. It’s been nearly four months since the nuclear power plant, located 45 miles north of San Diego, was shuttered after a small amount of radiation leaked into the atmosphere from a recently installed steam-generator tube in the plant’s reactor Unit 3.
It was subsequently discovered that a large number of these tubes, which function like a car radiator and carry hot, pressurized radioactive water, were damaged in Unit 2, the other operating unit at the seaside plant, which is operated by Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and jointly owned with the city of Riverside, Calif.
Jennifer Manfre, a spokeswoman for Southern California Edison, told The Daily Beast that the company has since plugged 510 damaged tubes in Unit 2 and 807 tubes in Unit 3. But investigators with Edison and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) still haven’t pinpointed the reason for the tubes’ erosion — other than to say it was the result of a vibration.