4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Radioactive Leak Shuts San Onofre, Critics Had Voiced Safety Concerns

Precautionary shutdown operations began last night at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 3 reactor due to “a possible leak in one of the unit’s steam generator tubes,” says a release from plant operator Southern California Edison.

The generators siphon heat from a reactor’s core and convert it into steam, which in turn spins turbines and produces power. The failure occurred despite a recent multi-million dollar project to replace the generators on both reactors.

Due to the leak, radioactive water in the core could mix with non-radioactive water that’s cycled through to generate the steam. “We detected a slight increase in radioactivity, but it's still within acceptable levels,” said plant spokesman Gil Alexander, noting that the shutdown was not mandatory under Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules.

Author and former nuclear plant investigator Greg Palast told the Reader last November, however, that safety procedures at nuclear facilities across the country, including at San Onofre, still leave much to be desired. And the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, led by Rochelle Becker, has been pushing for greater oversight in safety evaluations as part of the relicensing process both California nuclear plants are undergoing in an attempt to extend their right to operate past scheduled decommissioning dates, which come in 2022 for San Onofre.

“The CPUC imposed a cost cap on [Edison]'s steam generator replacement project.,” says Becker. “The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility has requested that costs of this leak from recently installed Japanese generators be applied to that cap. If these steam generators cannot hold up to daily operations how will they withstand a seismic event?”

An ammonia leak in November also led to a level-3 emergency being declared at the facility, theLos Angeles Times reported. Employees were evacuated at that time, though such a precaution was not deemed necessary in this instance.

The plant’s Unit 2 reactor has been offline since mid-January for maintenance, and Unit 1 was decommissioned in 1992. Thus, the plant is currently not contributing any power generation to the grid it serves.

“The potential leak poses no imminent danger to the public or plant workers. There has been no release to the atmosphere,” Edison declared in a news release on the incident, also saying that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has already been informed of the issue.

Inspectors will enter the area where the leak occurred sometime today to further assess any potential damage and initiate any needed repairs.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nirwana Indian Gastrobar showcases tacos, sliders, and pizza

Mira Mesa gastropub consolidates around chicken curries, vegetarian options, and fusion
Next Article

Colin Flaherty fan, Meg Burns booster

ADU in Del Mar humor not appreciated

Precautionary shutdown operations began last night at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 3 reactor due to “a possible leak in one of the unit’s steam generator tubes,” says a release from plant operator Southern California Edison.

The generators siphon heat from a reactor’s core and convert it into steam, which in turn spins turbines and produces power. The failure occurred despite a recent multi-million dollar project to replace the generators on both reactors.

Due to the leak, radioactive water in the core could mix with non-radioactive water that’s cycled through to generate the steam. “We detected a slight increase in radioactivity, but it's still within acceptable levels,” said plant spokesman Gil Alexander, noting that the shutdown was not mandatory under Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules.

Author and former nuclear plant investigator Greg Palast told the Reader last November, however, that safety procedures at nuclear facilities across the country, including at San Onofre, still leave much to be desired. And the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, led by Rochelle Becker, has been pushing for greater oversight in safety evaluations as part of the relicensing process both California nuclear plants are undergoing in an attempt to extend their right to operate past scheduled decommissioning dates, which come in 2022 for San Onofre.

“The CPUC imposed a cost cap on [Edison]'s steam generator replacement project.,” says Becker. “The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility has requested that costs of this leak from recently installed Japanese generators be applied to that cap. If these steam generators cannot hold up to daily operations how will they withstand a seismic event?”

An ammonia leak in November also led to a level-3 emergency being declared at the facility, theLos Angeles Times reported. Employees were evacuated at that time, though such a precaution was not deemed necessary in this instance.

The plant’s Unit 2 reactor has been offline since mid-January for maintenance, and Unit 1 was decommissioned in 1992. Thus, the plant is currently not contributing any power generation to the grid it serves.

“The potential leak poses no imminent danger to the public or plant workers. There has been no release to the atmosphere,” Edison declared in a news release on the incident, also saying that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has already been informed of the issue.

Inspectors will enter the area where the leak occurred sometime today to further assess any potential damage and initiate any needed repairs.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close