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Westinghouse aims to cork up the nuke juice

Contract sought for decommissioning of San Onofre

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Westinghouse Electric Company, successor to the company that brought the first nuclear reactor online at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 1968, announced on Monday, January 5, that it will now seek the contract for the decommissioning of the two remaining reactors.

Following more than a year in a state-of-emergency shutdown after defective steam generators caused a small leak of radioactive materials in early 2012, plant operator Southern California Edison announced plans to permanently shutter the plant in June 2013.

While Westinghouse supplied San Onofre's first reactor that ran from 1968 to 1992 as well as many others around the country, a different company built the Unit 2 and 3 reactors that were generating power at the time of the accident.

According to a Pittsburgh Business Times report, Westinghouse plans to partner with construction giant Bechtel in what looks to be a lucrative new market: the demolition of former nuclear sites.

San Onofre is an example in what federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Dave McIntyre has called a mini-spate of nuclear plant retirements, with four plants announcing closures in 2013. The most recent, Vermont Yankee (in Vernon,Vermont), ceased operation on December 29. Inside Climate News says as many as 14 plants could be headed for retirement in the coming years.

Edison expects to issue a request for proposals to decommission the plant in the coming months, with a contract to be awarded by the end of the year. While there's no time table for the dismantling of the reactors, the job will likely be complete long before any of the nuclear waste that's been accumulating along the coast for the past 46 years is ready to be hauled off.

(editorial error corrected 1/7, 12:30 p.m.)

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San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Westinghouse Electric Company, successor to the company that brought the first nuclear reactor online at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 1968, announced on Monday, January 5, that it will now seek the contract for the decommissioning of the two remaining reactors.

Following more than a year in a state-of-emergency shutdown after defective steam generators caused a small leak of radioactive materials in early 2012, plant operator Southern California Edison announced plans to permanently shutter the plant in June 2013.

While Westinghouse supplied San Onofre's first reactor that ran from 1968 to 1992 as well as many others around the country, a different company built the Unit 2 and 3 reactors that were generating power at the time of the accident.

According to a Pittsburgh Business Times report, Westinghouse plans to partner with construction giant Bechtel in what looks to be a lucrative new market: the demolition of former nuclear sites.

San Onofre is an example in what federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Dave McIntyre has called a mini-spate of nuclear plant retirements, with four plants announcing closures in 2013. The most recent, Vermont Yankee (in Vernon,Vermont), ceased operation on December 29. Inside Climate News says as many as 14 plants could be headed for retirement in the coming years.

Edison expects to issue a request for proposals to decommission the plant in the coming months, with a contract to be awarded by the end of the year. While there's no time table for the dismantling of the reactors, the job will likely be complete long before any of the nuclear waste that's been accumulating along the coast for the past 46 years is ready to be hauled off.

(editorial error corrected 1/7, 12:30 p.m.)

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Comments
5

I do not know who fact check this article but Combustion Engineering (which Westinghouse subsequently purchased) was the designer/reactor vendor for San Onofre Units 2 & 3. Mitsubishi designed and manufactured the replacement steam generators which ended up leaking and causing the permanent shutdown of the two units due to the costs to repair or replace the defective Mitsubishi replacement steam generators. A simple Google search for the reactor vendor in the US Nuclear Regulatory Wed site would have provided the correct information...really sloppy reporting here :(

Jan. 8, 2015

Combustion Engineering was indeed the designer/vendor for Units 2 and 3, which went online in 1983 and 1984, respectively. Westinghouse Electric Company (actually the successor to Unit 1 vendor Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which was dissolved in 1999) acquired Combustion Engineering in 2000, a decade and change after the reactors in question were installed.

Jan. 8, 2015

Dave Rice - It needs to be said that Westinghouse is owned by the Japanese, who shy away from using their Parent Companies name because so many identify with Westinghouse as a US Company which is no longer true since the ownership of Westinghouse Electric Co. including the nuclear energy firm was purchased by Toshiba Corp. in 2006.

This is no different than the Japanese calling out TEPCO when in fact TEPCO is now owned by the Japanese Government!

More here: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/businessnews/2013/01/11/Toshiba-looking-to-sell-partial-stake-in-Westinghouse/stories/201301110290

snip Since the acquisition about six years ago, Toshiba has been influential at the Cranberry firm. Three out of eight of Westinghouse's board of directors are current or former Toshiba employees, and Toshiba has a company coordination officer stationed at the Cranberry campus.

When Westinghouse CEO Jim Ferland unexpectedly stepped down last April, Westinghouse board chairman and Toshiba senior vice president Shigenori Shiga flew to Pittsburgh from Japan to take over as an interim CEO for nearly six months.

Jan. 10, 2015

Not true, ANuke Combustion Engineering (CE) did built the original steam generators used at San Onofre and they preformed quite well until SCE decided to switch to "High burn up fuel" which generated much hotter temps (and profits for SCE), leaving the ratepayers to foot the bill for the replacement steam generators that were poorly designed by SCE's in-house design team and manufactured to SCE's approved spec's by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI). To say that MHI is at fault when SCE had contractual documents that said that they and they alone would determine what MHI did, is just not true, especially since SCE's CA Licensed professional engineers signed off on their design!

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/347889/col-nrc-tech-paper.pdf

Jan. 8, 2015

In short, in-plane FEI in Unit 3 RSGs was caused due to film boiling by high steam pressure and high RCS temperatures compared to Unit 2. The thermal-hydraulic conditions in Unit 3 exceeded the field tested and design conditions, which is consistent with the data published in the NRC AIT Report. SCE ran Unit 3 "over its redline" and as a result it started leaking, not to mention all the internal damage done to both Unit 2 and Unit 3 because of SCE's flawed design. http://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/steamgeneratortubesplugged1.pdf

This will be explained much better once discovery is allowed in Federal Court, hopefully in Michael Aguirre's appeal of the CPUC bogus settlement decision.

You want to talk SG then step up or stop calling out MHI for something that SCE is 100% responsible for!

Jan. 8, 2015

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