CALIFORNIA FUKUSHIMA? – SAN ONOFRE UNSAFE
NRC Issues Confirmatory Action Letter for San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Restart Preparations
March 27, 2012 (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
"The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a Confirmatory Action Letter documenting actions that Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) officials have agreed to take related to unusual wear on steam generator tubes prior to restarting both units of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station…near San Clemente, Calif."
[Elmo E. Collins, Region IV Administrator, NRC:] “This Confirmatory Action Letter formalizes commitments that Southern California Edison has made to ensure that the cause of the tube wear in both steam generators is understood and appropriately addressed in order to ensure safe operation…Until we are satisfied that has been done, the plant will not be permitted to restart.”
Beautiful, isn't it? So was Fukushima until it became an environmental disaster. (click to enlarge)
"On Jan. 31, operators performed a rapid shutdown of the Unit 3 reactor after indications of a steam generator tube leak. Unit 2 has been shut down since Jan. 9 for a planned refueling and maintenance outage. Subsequent inspections at both units have identified unusual wear in many tubes of the steam generators, which were replaced in January 2010 at Unit 2 and January 2011 in Unit 3…SCE has identified two causes of the unusual wear: tubes are vibrating and rubbing against adjacent tubes and against support structures inside the steam generators. They are still working to determine why this is occurring…
"SCE has committed to [plug all tubes in Units 2 and 3 for which testing indicated wear in excess of industry guidelines, as well as all tubes susceptible to this wear because of their location and determine the causes of the tube-to-tube degradation and establish a protocol of inspections and or operational limits for Unit 2 and 3 to minimize the progression of tube wear, and ensure that any tube wear does not progress to the point where it compromises tube integrity] prior to restart of each unit…"