San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Report Blames Computer-Model Errors for Woes

A final inspection report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the steam generator tube wear that has kept both reactors offline at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) since January blames computer model errors for the design flaws.

The 100-page report also says plant operator Southern California Edison (SCE) followed all necessary procedures installing the generators between 2009-2011. The environmental group Friends of the Earth has called for bolstering those procedures, something the NRC claims it is considering.

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An SCE spokesperson called the NRC study thorough, claiming the power company is busy making necessary repairs to the generators designed by Mitsubishi of Japan. Neither SCE nor the NRC has indicated when one or both reactors will return to service.

All full operation, the plant provides 19 percent of Southern California's power needs. The utility is relying on energy conservation, upgrades at other power-generating plants and even the un-retired AES natural gas plant in Huntington Beach to get the region through the electricity-sucking summer.

The NRC says it will scheduled a public meeting to answer questions about the final report, with the date, time and location to be determined.

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