U.S. NRC Blog

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An Update on San Onofre

Three months to the day after being dispatched under a charter to investigate the circumstances surrounding a steam generator tube leak at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, an NRC Augmented Inspection Team issued their findings in a report just under 100 pages long.

Most of their findings had been previously reported by the news media following a June 18 public meeting in San Juan Capistrano. The team found that faulty computer modeling that inadequately predicted conditions in steam generators at the plant and manufacturing issues contributed to excessive wear of the components.

But the team also addressed an issue that had been the focus of much public attention – whether Southern California Edison provided the NRC all the information required about the proposed design changes to the steam generators before replacing them. The team reported that the licensee had done this.

The team also identified 10 issues requiring follow-up by the NRC. And another inspection will be conducted to assess the licensee’s regulatory compliance and identify potential violations of NRC requirements.

What lies ahead?We are now looking at dates and a location for another public meeting to be held in the vicinity of the plant. We will schedule this meeting in the near future to receive and respond to public comments and questions on the now-finalized AIT report and other issues of public concern.

The plant will not be permitted to restart until the licensee has developed a plan to prevent further steam generator tube degradation and the NRC independently verifies that it can be operated safely.

Victor Dricks
Region IV Public Affairs

35 responses to “An Update on San Onofre

  1. CaptD July 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    To: Victor Dricks
    Region IV Public Affairs

    By not posting comments you are making this “blog” a sham…

    Is the NRC really so afraid someone is going to post a “bad” word that they must take “forever” to approve comments for posting? I’m sure there are plenty of NRC staff members that would be only too happy to help moderate this blog or maybe that is not such a good idea since too many comments would get scrubbed…

    Does Free Speech exist at the NRC or must it also be moderated?

    BTW: Who is doing the moderation and what are their “marching orders”? Can anyone request a FOI request to “see” the comment not posted along with the reasoning that they were not posted?

    Thank You

    • Moderator July 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

      From the Moderator: Comments are posted as quickly as possible, usually within 24 hours (as in this case). All comments that meet our guidelines are all posted. Very few of the comments submitted do not meet our guidelines.

  2. Myla Reson July 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    The following questions were asked numerous times, but I have yet to see direct answers.
    1) Did the NRC ask Southern California Edison to identify the root cause of the San Onofre steam generator leak? (A yes or no respnse would be greatly appreciated)
    2) Did Southern California Edison identify and communicate to the NRC the ROOT CAUSE of the San Onofre steam generator leak?
    3) Did Southern California Edison provide to the NRC a Root Cause Analysis of the San Onofre steam generator leak?

  3. fresh July 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    They lied through their teeth, exhibiting a culture of corruption.

    But we don’t need this plant anymore, it is like throwing good ratepayer dollars after bad. Shut it down. Send a strong message to all nuke operators who would try to jack up profits, by cutting corners and putting our lives at risk.

    • CaptD July 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

      I agree with you, the NRC waffled when they had a chance to send a strong SAFETY message to the Industry about trying to sneak illegal modifications by the NRC, but NO they “hid” behind their regulatory mumbo jumbo and hinted that perhaps some regulations needed to be reviewed, instead! Now the Industry knows that they can get away with “Modification Murder” and thumb their noses at the intent of the NRC Regulations…

  4. residentsorganizedforasafeenvironment July 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    San Onofre, not safe, not cost- effective, shut it down and start the decommissioning process now before the next accident happens.

  5. CaptD July 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I believe that once California consumers and especially California property owners realize that they are NOT covered for any type of fallout, leakage or contamination caused by radioactivity, they will begin to reexamine their “trust” in nuclear because of their financial liability!

    Question: How many in Southern California (for example) could afford to just walk away from their homes if one of the reactors in California had a meltdown for any reason; without even considering the health implications later? The answer of course is NOT MANY! We have only to see what has happened in Japan to get a good idea; in short America cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster any better than Japan.

    Remember most of the “rest” of America is downwind from the West Coast! (Japan has been “lucky” in that regard ,since most of its radioactivity has moved toward eastward North America and the rest of the planet; yet most of Northern Japan is now contaminated!) America’s heartland is downwind from SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) and we cannot afford to have our farmland turned into a NO-Go Zone!

  6. CaptD July 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    We are now are being ruled by those in Nuclear Denial*; instead of by Leaders that demand an end to the Trillion Dollar Eco-Disast­er RISK that Nuclear reactors pose to mankind!

    How would the USA pay for a Fukushima-type “event” on US soil?
    or
    Deal with a 50 mile NO GO ZONE surrounding one of our reactors?

    Remember Nature does not follow design basis calculations or even engineering RISK formulas…

    The nuclear industry is fighting tooth and nail to maintain it’s market share; yet NOW Solar (of all flavors) is far less costly to construct, faster to construct and carries with it N☢ Nuclear radioactiv­e baggage that can kill a Countries economy and or those living nearby!
    Ask The Japanese!

  7. CaptD July 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    The NRC should require the Utility to decommission SORE, (San Onofre Reactor Emergency), fine them and make them refund the huge amount that the rate payers have been forced to pay for this illegal overhaul! The NRC has “bent” their own rules in order for SCE to sidestep being fined for not telling the NRC about the modifications they were making and getting the required permission BEFORE they were made… This is yet another reason that tax payers have to be worried about how the NRC protects the Nuclear Industry instead of focusing on nuclear safety.

  8. CaptD July 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    NRC: Fact Sheet on Nuclear Insurance and Disaster Relief
    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/funds-fs.html

    In short, if there is more that $12 Billion in damages, we are SOL!
    This is only a tiny fraction of what it will cost in Fukushima,
    … Which is about a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster!

    Where would the US Government get the REST,
    … Social Security and or Medicare?

    This question needs answering ASAP,
    … From both Congress and the Nuclear Industry!

    CALL your Leaders and ask them where ALL this money would from!

    Then ALL Americans can determine if Nuclear is worth the RISK!

  9. CaptD July 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Great articles on SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) that includes Whistle Blower comments:
    How Broken Is the San Onofre Nuclear Plant? http://is.gd/XQKEub
    and
    Calif. energy officials plan for longer San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown http://is.gd/dpQrKC

  10. CaptD July 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    A Prediction That Proved Correct!

    I believe that the CURRENT PROBE into San Onofre will expose many more questionable tubes and also an ongoing coverup of safety related info that was concealed in order to sidestep NRC notifications. San Onofre has the worst safety record of all US reactors and it just makes sense that the Operator will be trying very hard to keep the lid on anything that draw attention to their reactor or it’s operation.

    The NRC gave the Nuclear Industry a “PASS” on the tube wear issue before on San Onofre and many of the other reactors around the Country.
    BUT NOW
    They are realizing that they have a much bigger problem than they first “imagined”­; metal erosion/weakness cannot be tolerated when the radioactiv­e leakage is not only high in temperatur­e and pressure but also high in amount of radiation!

    Would you use a dangerous leaking pressure pot day after day,… or would you be smart and replace it with something safer?

    Fragile tubes and a BIG EARTH QUAKE could make a large number of those tubes all fail AT ONCE; which is what I think happened in Fukushima (and other Japanese reactors that have not been restarted there)!!

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