Southern California Edison has begun the process of cutting about 730 jobs at the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The reduction will bring the plant's staffing level to about 1,500, according to Edison, which says San Onofre's staff and operating costs were higher than similar plants.
As first reported in The Orange County Register, Southern California Edison began the process with a voluntary buyout that induced 260 employees to volunteer for a severance package in November.
“Significant transformational change is hard work, and we have tried to move through this challenging process with the utmost respect and consideration of SONGS employees. This was a difficult decision, and this is a challenging time for our employees. As our company goes through this period of change, we continue to move forward and retain our focus and our employees' commitment to run our operating plant safely, correctly and efficiently."
The move to cut costs, which Edison said began two years ago, comes on the heels of other woes at the plant.
San Onofre's two active reactors were both shut down in January: one for planned repairs and the other after a faulty piece of equipment leaked a small amount of radioactive steam. The leak led to the discovery that many more tubes were wearing out more quickly than expected.
In announcing its planned staffing reduction in August, Edison noted that plant's troubles "require that SCE be prudent with its future spending while SCE and regulators review the long-term viability of the nuclear plant. The reality is that the Unit 3 reactor will not be operating for some time.
"Deliberate steps will be taken over the next year to ensure SONGS is prepared to operate safely and in alignment with SCE's future operating budgets," according to the company.
-- City News Service contributed to this report.