Edison pushed San Onofre beyond breaking point

The main goal of Edison's (SCE) in-house design of the 4 Replacement Steam Generators (RSG's) was to build them quickly without a through NRC technical review that also included public review (called a NRC 50.90 review) so they chose to do it using a NRC 50.59 review which was designed for "like for like" replacement of parts that would not affect safety (like replacing one fan motor with another fan motor, of the same specifications). Since SCE's engineers knew they were doing it on the sly, they not only cut corners but they also failed to get their in-house design reviewed by credible outside steam engineers that had prior experience in large RSG design/fabrication (which none of the SCE engineers had). SCE chose MHI as their manufacturer knowing they had never built large RSG's before and therefore would not talk to the NRC about the project or ask to many questions, which would allow SCE to take care of everything! By using actual meeting notes, posted on SCE's website, the enormity of this debacle becomes easier to understand. In their rush to make more money, by generating additional power from the new larger RSG's SCE became fixated on profits instead of safety! Employees that raised concerns were given the cold shoulder or worse. Once the leak occurred, SCE tried its best to downplay what occurred while at the same time they tried to use MHI as their escape goat. SCE's documents show that MHI was following SCE's orders and constructed the RSG's as SCE's engineers directed. It is also important to note that SCE "accepted" all the RSG's after installation and startup testing, as meeting all contractual criteria! SCE had no idea that while they were operating their RSG's, they were destroying themselves because of their design; instead they were telling the CPUC and ratepayers that they were so good that the service life of San Onofre should be extended! In hindsight, it was pure luck that Southern California only had a small radioactive leak instead of a nuclear incident or even much worse a nuclear accident. BTW: If either of those had occurred, SCE would now be making additional Billions in cleanup just like TEPCO is doing after their triple meltdown at Fukushima which is still polluting the Pacific Ocean. NOTE: The above was posted on the UT site but it was removed for some reason...
— July 21, 2016 4:30 p.m.

Public Utilities Commission reopens San Onofre case

Don — I fully expect that if it really does comes anywhere near to answering questions under oath, SCE will make the CPUC *an offer they can't refuse* (since the CPUC is also implicated) that will settle the investigation with no admission of wrongdoing, while paying all the legal fees of Aguirre & Severson and their experts, as well as those of the other credible intervenors. Either way, SCE is going to sweeten the offer, probably in several stages long before they get cornered into saying anything substantial before the CPUC. My guess right now is that SCE (and SDG&E) will end up offering to pay for 90% of the San Onofre debacle (nor any lost profits) to settle the ratepayers case against them. One can just imagine all the *apropos to nothing* discussions that have been and will continue to take place between the advisors of the Governor, the AG and the CPUC's very expensive lawyers not to mention SCE's own advisors that will never be revealed to the public! As part of the settlement, four additional seats should be added to the Advisory Board to be filled by people chosen by the groups that have protested against the San Onofre settlement. That would go a long way toward providing some much need "reality" to what is now a dog & pony show as the decisions they are making could have enormous fiscal impacts on SoCal if done on the cheap, as SCE has demonstrated it has a track record of doing. Finally, I would suggest that if San Onofre had suffered a small but significant radioactive leak due to one or more leaking steam generator tube failures which then contaminated parts of the beach area to the south, you can just imagine the decades of profits that SCE would have gotten to collect; just like TEPCO is now doing because of their Fukushima's nuclear accident in Japan...
— May 12, 2016 3:42 p.m.

Public Utilities Commission reopens San Onofre case

Don — A good rule of thumb will be if Aguirre & Severson (A&S) actually get to cross examine SCE (and others that worked with them), until that occurs there will be no real "investigation." A&S now have more than enough Techinical information to prove (in a honest court) that: 1. SCE not only knew their in-house Replacement Steam Generator (RSG) design had serious design features that could easily affect their safe operation but SCE also began to eliminate key employees at San Onofre that spoke up early on, in order to warn management that their would be problems with the flawed RSG design. 2. SCE's engineers never even did the required analysts to prove the safety of their RSG design. Later the NRC only slap them on the wrist for that, which also protect their own NRC Region IV employees that were supposed to be overseeing SCE's operation of San Onofre. 3. SCE ran Unit 3 "over it redline" in an unauthorized experiment, which caused the radioactive leak on 01/31/12. In hind sight, it was a lucky thing for everyone in SoCal, since that leak lead to a required major inspections of both Unit 2 (which just happened to be shut down for a scheduled refueling) and Unit 3. The inspections of the almost new RSG's discovered "unprecedented" damage in all of the RSG's which together had more internal tube damage than all the rest of the US Nuclear "Fleet" combined! It is very important to note that SCE still refuses to release its operational data from that day because it will prove that they, not ratepayers are completely at fault! 4. SCE worked with the NRC, the CPUC, their Pro-Utility advocates (like TURN and UCAN) and many elected Leaders that acknowledge SCE and SDG&E's political muscle to downplay what had occurred at San Onofre in an attempt to protect themselves from public scrutiny. 5. SCE decided to decommission San Onofre to end all investigations into it's wrong doings after securing a behind closed door deal with the CPUC, which made ratepayers responsible for almost all costs and even SCE's lost profits!
— May 12, 2016 8:37 a.m.

Public Utilities Commission reopens San Onofre case

Great news since SCE is trying to use poor quality casks that will not last very long which means that ratepayers might very well get stuck paying huge amounts of money in the future (including additional profits for SCE/SDG/E) to deal with leaking radiation from these cheap casks! Also some more good news, Two years of effort has culminated in a decision of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to reopen the San Onofre settlement agreement that saddled utility customers with a $3.3 billion debt. Credit goes largely to the press for their steadfast work to expose the wrongdoing that led to a secret deal struck in Warsaw, Poland to make ratepayers pay for the premature closing of the San Onofre Plant. + The majority of U.S. nuclear power facilities are storing highly radioactive nuclear waste in thin-walled canisters that cannot be inspected, maintained, repaired, and can crack and leak in the short-term, with no approved plan in place to remediate a major radiation release into the environment. Luckily we have local experts that are trying to help us do the job right the first time instead of taking chances with our long term safety in order to make a quick buck now. + Here is a wonderful free animation that shows what could have happened if San Onofre (aka SanO) Unit 2 was restarted and one or more of its replacement steam generator (RSGs) tubes failed... Note you can move your cursor around the animation and explore many different sub-animations.
— May 10, 2016 1:15 p.m.

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