Facing rising costs and regulatory uncertainty, the fate of the currently idle San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is in doubt, as Edison International has indicated that if at least one reactor doesn’t restart this year, both may be retired. Edison is currently working with state and federal regulators to restart the facility, and is trying to settle questions with the state about who should be responsible for paying for the repairs.
SONGS’ shutdown has been longer than originally anticipated and more expensive as damage was found throughout the generators, with the greatest concentration in Reactor 3. There, nearly 280 tubes that carry radioactive water were found to have suffered more than 50 percent deterioration and could have caused radiation leaks. The rapid pace of decay in the tubes alarmed many and federal investigators eventually attributed the wear to botched computer analysis that led to a design flaw. In 2009 and 2010, the tubes had been replaced as part of a $670 million overhaul of the station.
The $553 million price tag related to this ongoing shutdown is divided between $109 million in repairs and $444 million in replacement electricity. When operating, SONGS provides power for 1.4 million homes. The State and Edison are conflicted over who should pay for the shutdown, ratepayers or shareholders. Uncertainty over the ultimate resolution to the bills heightens the risk to Edison, and could contribute to a decision to ultimately shut down the facility.
Read the full article at Yahoo News.