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Nuclear Plant to Pull Radioactive Fuel from Downed Reactor

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is pulling fuel out of its Unit 3 reactor in light of the extended shutdown at the beleaguered plant.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be removing radioactive fuel from the downed Unit 3 reactor in anticipation of its long-term outage, according Southern California Edison.

The plant has been, when a small leak of radioactive steam revealed that both sets of steam generators at the plant were The fuel will be moved from the reactor to a spent fuel pool, where other radioactive waste sits cooling in a controlled water solution, according to the San Onofre officials. The onsite storage of radioactive waste is a practice that the San Clemente City Council, Congress and the federal courts have sought to end.

Several thousand tons of spent fuel and other radioactive waste is already stored on-site and has been for decades. The spent fuel still emits large amounts of heat at first, which is why it must be stored in water for a couple years before being moved to concrete encasements called dry casks.

Though still not a permanent waste storage solution, dry casks are safer than fuel pools. The last year adopted a resolution calling for waste in pools at San Onofre to be moved to dry casks and for a permanent storage place for the existing waste.

Decades worth of efforts in the U.S. Congress to build a permanent nuclear dump under Yucca Mountain in Nevada have stalled because of the vehement opposition of those who live near there.

Just this summer, federal courts ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission couldn't build or relicense any plants until the feds found a permanent waste dump.

In the meantime, SCE officials are still trying to reactivate the reactor. that technicians are working to restart Unit 2, pending the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's approval to run the unit at partial power.

Engineers aren't sure how to repair the more heavily damaged Unit 3, however, executives said on the earnings call.

Papa Rich August 28, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Excellent reporting Thank you . I never could figure out why they continued to build these plants when they had no solutions for waste.
Jim Minton August 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Because nuclear energy is the best thing going for energy efficiency. Libtards don't like Nuke's, don't like fossil fuel. I guess we will go with wind or solar and when the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing we all just go home and go to bed.
K.A.B. August 29, 2012 at 01:31 PM
We added solar to our house 3 years ago and it has been fantastic. Our former monthly bill was sometimes over $200. A recent bill was $10.95, thanks to our solar panels. Now contemplating an electric car which would, in effect, be powered by the sun!
Vicki Bookhammer August 29, 2012 at 01:42 PM
How much did it cost to put in the solar panels?
Things I Learned August 29, 2012 at 01:43 PM
"(Reuters) - General Motors Co will idle the Michigan assembly plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt for four weeks from the middle of September to the middle of October, plant suppliers and union sources said on Monday. It will be the second time this year that the plant, which straddles the border of Detroit and the city of Hamtramck, has stopped making Volts. GM confirmed the plant idling, saying it will continue to "match supply with demand" for both the Volt and the Chevrolet Malibu sedan that is also made at the plant. The automaker declined to specify how long the plant will be closed." http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/27/us-gm-volt-plant-idINBRE87Q17520120827
Charles August 29, 2012 at 02:07 PM
The break-even time is probably about 69 years - especially if the electric bill is "sometimes" $200 (like one month a year when the AC is on). The rest of the year, the electric bill is probably in the low $100s. Same for an electric car - it may be fun, it may be novel, it may make for interesting cocktail party conversation - but the numbers don't yet add up.
Sarah Riccitelli August 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
As much as I hate saying this, nuclear energy is the most reliable, more than solar/wind & far cleaner than coal & fossil fuels. However, we need to have a clear waste removal & storage plan, as well as better maintenance of reactors.
steve hopper August 29, 2012 at 05:08 PM
One more step closer to shutting it down, permanently.
Brian Goodell August 29, 2012 at 07:15 PM
You can't have an animal rendering plant or pig farm without having a plan to dispose of the waste, so how come we built all these nukes with no permanent solution? Each Cogress just kicks the can down the road to the next generation. Throw them all out with your vote!
Ruby Rod August 29, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Maybe it's not about making the numbers add up?
James Schumaker August 29, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I will be instaling a 20-panel solar system later this year. The system will also provide battery back-up in case the grid goes down, which, unfortunately is an increasing concern these days. The solar array will shave about $200/mo off our power bills and pay for itself in 7-10 years.
Komfort August 29, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Which environmentally friendly battery will you be using, lead acid or lithium ion?
James Schumaker August 29, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Komfort, We're planning on using sealed AGM batteries.
Komfort August 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM
That is a sealed lead acid battery, James. Thanks. Will you remain grid tied or are you getting off the grid?
Batman August 29, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Go see the movie "2016".
Frieda Wales August 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Exactly!
hug October 25, 2012 at 07:31 AM
long time san onofre surfing club members need to be studied for cancer averages some avid surfers are there every day.I am currently seeing some surfers there suffering from multible blood cancers.these are young healthy surfers.whats up?
Jim Minton October 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Hug, are you serious? The actual water is warmer there, what does that tell you?
Frieda Wales November 19, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Way to make your point Jim. "Libtards". You will garner support for your ideas for sure if you keep on calling people names.

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