Saturday, June 08, 2013

About Damned Time!

(Editorial cartoon by Joel Pett / Lexington Herald-Leader (June 6, 2013) and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge and then return.)

Southern California Edison, a large electricity supplier for Southern California, has finally decided to permanently shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, and I'm delighted.  The plant has not been in operation for over a year.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The coastal plant near San Clemente once supplied power to about 1.4 million homes in Southern California  but has been shuttered since January 2012 when a tube in its newly replaced steam generators leaked a small amount of radioactive steam, leading to the discovery that the tubes were wearing down at an unusual rate.

San Onofre, one of only two nuclear power plants in California, has been in regulatory limbo for months as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission weighed a proposal by Southern California Edison to restart one unit -- which was less heavily damaged -- and run it at 70% power in hopes that reduced power would alleviate the conditions that led to the wear. ...

Southern California Edison officials announced their decision in a news release early Friday morning.

"We have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if [the plant] might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs," said Ted Craver, chairman and chief executive of Edison International, parent company of SCE.

SCE President Ron Litzinger said in a statement: "Looking ahead, we think that our decision to retire the units will eliminate uncertainty and facilitate orderly planning for California’s energy future.”   [Emphasis added]

 Neither of the two nuclear power plants should have been built in the first place.  Both, including the Diablo Canyon plant built for and run by Pacific Gas & Electric, are located on the coast and near earthquake faults.  Both were built decades ago when there was even less certainty on what to do with the expended nuclear products. 

Southern Californians managed to get through last summer without San Onofre and I'm confident it will get through this summer as well.  People here know not to run appliances during hottest part of the day and to set thermostats closer to 80F than 68F.  And people here don't want any of that waste getting into the wrong hands.

What would be nice is having SoCalEdison use a little creative planning to put in a renewable energy system on the site, one which would take advantage of wave power or wind power.  That might be asking too much if the company is more interested in pleasing its investors than its customers, but we might get lucky this time.

And that would be just fine by me.

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Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Good luck with the wind or wave power, Diane.

It seems that both our 3rd Way Dems and the Repukes are beholden to big money, which means oil and gas (and fracking and pipelines).

11:09 AM  

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