Another U.S. nuclear power plant has gone offline for good. This time, it’s Diablo Canyon’s sister to the south, Southern California Edison’s embattled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, known as SONGS.
The utility announced the decision to permanently retire the facility’s two units on June 7.
Both units have been offline since January 2012, after station operators detected a leak in a tube inside a steam generator.
After months of analyses and tests, Southern California Edison submitted a plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in October 2012, proposing to restart Unit 2 at 70 percent reduced power level for an initial period of approximately five months, according to a press release.
The company said it determined it was “uneconomic” to have its customers bear the long-term repair costs for returning SONGS to full power when more administrative processes and appeals could result in further delays.
“[Edison] has concluded that efforts are better focused on planning for the replacement generation and transmission resources which will be required for grid reliability,” the release states.
The California Independent System Operator, which controls and monitors the electricity transmission grid, had yet to issue a statement on possible effects the SONGS closure would
have on the state’s power supply, as
of press time.
The closure marks the third nuclear plant to shut down in 2013 alone; the list also includes Crystal River in Florida and Keauwanee in Wisconsin.