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Summer Blackouts Possible If San Onofre Units Stay Offline

Grid operator says options include calling back into service Huntington Beach Power Plant units.

Portions of Orange County may 
face power shortages this summer if both units of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station remain offline, according to a report issued this week by the California Independent System Operator Corp.

“Safety is the top priority during ongoing inspections and testing of the nuclear power plant,” said Steve Berberich, president and chief executive officer of the the grid operator for the majority of California’s electric transmission system.

“Our focus is contingency planning should SONGS [San Onofre] remain offline this summer,” he said. “Fortunately, there are resource options available to help mitigate reliability risks. We are actively working with San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and others because prudent mitigation 
planning takes adequate lead time and summer heat is only a couple months away.”
  

Unit 3 of the plant south of San Clemente has been shut down since Jan. 31, after station operators detected a leak in one of its steam generator tubes.

Its two steam generators are undergoing extensive testing and inspections in order to fully assess their condition and the cause of the leak.
  
Unit 2 was taken down for planned maintenance Jan. 9.
  

Neither unit will return to operation “until we are satisfied it is safe to do so,” said Jennifer Manfre, Southern California Edison’s senior manager of media relations.
  

Technical studies presented at Thursday’s Cal-ISO board meeting show very low reserve margins.

Contingency planning potentially includes calling back into service Huntington Beach Power Plant units previously slated for retirement, accelerating completion of Barre-Ellis & Sunrise Powerlink transmission projects, reactivating the 20/20 demand reduction program and Flex Alert TV and radio conservation campaign, according to Cal-ISO.
  

The ISO peak demand is projected to reach 46,352 megawatts this summer under normal conditions, 923 more than the actual peak of 45,429 recorded in
2011, but less than the 2011 forecast under normal weather, according to the grid operator.
  

The decrease in the 2012 peak demand forecast is because of a conservative economic recovery prediction by Moody’s Analytics for 2012 as
compared to its 2011 economic forecast, according to Cal-ISO.

—City News Service

CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Right On Thinking! The NRC gave the Nuclear Industry a "PASS" on the tube wear issue before on San Onofre and other reactors around the Country http://wp.­me/p21p6a-­77L BUT NOW They are realizing that they have a much bigger problem than they first "imagined"­; metal erosion cannot be tolerated when the radioactiv­e leakage is not only high in temperatur­e but also high in amount of radiation! Would you use a dangerous leaking pressure pot day after day, ... or would you be smart and replace it with something safer? + Why nuclear is on the way out: 1. Radiation is dangerous to man 2. Expensive to build compared to Competitive Power Sources. 3. Creates long lasting radioactiv­e waste 4. Risky because Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, … Any place anytime 24/7/365! 5. No meaningful insurance for MAJOR radioactive damages to property or people!
Gene March 26, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Once the NRC gives you the answers will you stop you're wining? I doubt it
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Forget ever using the name SONGS; call San Onofre what it is, a pair of nuclear reactors that have the WORST safety record of any US reactors; why should we allow the nuclear industry to "sweeten" image that by using a fluffy name? The truth is that everyone in SoCal has just been very LUCKY that Nature has not "yet" shaken San Onofre hard enough to cause a major meltdown or worse! Consider Japan as a test case; they now have a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster that is affecting their entire Country; how would California (and or the USA) pay for a similar event? Where would people relocate to and what would they do for housing, since their home owners insurance has a nuclear exclusion? If this happened at San Onofre, the "coastal" real estate loses alone would be more than a trillion dollars and remember the rest of the "HEARTLAND" of the USA is downwind.
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I believe that if Americans really knew the true cost of Fukushima, WE, the people, would demand CHANGE and that is something that some of those in Government and the entire Nuclear Industry want to avoid at all cost! What will determine the total cost of their "Trillion Dollar" Eco-Disast­er? Please feel free to add your comments and or estimates to this list:  Decommissi­oning costs  Loss to all other radioactiv­e decontamin­ation caused by this Disaster.  Loss of revenues by Tepco  Loss to TEPCO's share holders caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss of Japanese personal income caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss to Japanese businesses caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss of all Japanese health costs related to radioactiv­ity  Loss due to unusable Japanese Land related to radioactiv­ity  Loss due to Japanese housing caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss of Japanese Property Values caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss of fishing grounds caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss of manufactur­ing caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss to the value of the Yen caused by radioactiv­ity  Loss to other Utilities caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity  Loss to Japans credit rating caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity  Loss to the Japanese peoples Lives because of radiation
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Think Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate! Does anyone know any Tokyo real estate agents that can give us a sense of how much property values are dropping in Tokyo? That will be a great "yardstick" that we can use to track the effect of radiation moving southward toward central Japan; we can then equate that to SoCal! Need some visual help" NRDC Nuclear Fallout Map of U.S. Just click on Leaky RISKY San Onofre: http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/ WARNING it is not a pretty picture...
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Sure if the NRC data is factual and not a **SHAM**. Look at what other studies have found: Radionuclides from the Fukushima accident in the air over Lithuania http://is.gd/fzc4Wu and Childhood leukemia around French nuclear power plants http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.27425/abstract Why do you think the Germans are giving up nuclear ASAP They care about their children's future, don't you?
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:52 AM
1. Pump water up hill think Hydro Power 2. Produce Hydrogen from water and then burn the Hydrogen to generate electricit­y 3. Molten Salt http://is.­gd/f4EFhl 4. New Wind: http://is.­gd/MceGpE 5. Area required for solar: http://is.­gd/oYgd5d 6. http://is.­gd/CfpiUJ And the above do not even consider new developmen­ts in Solar, ... Like Solar from Space http://is.­gd/hwzA8b
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:57 AM
@tinytom Get real, make it real simple: If the Germans can figure out how to do it so can CA and the entire Planet! And forget the winer talk unless you are talking about bubbly! Unless you are a homeowner and also a licensed Pilot forget the airport talk because airport don't end up causing radioactive spills (Hopefully)! Old reactors are prone to leakage just like what is happening in San Onofre even without big Quakes... How long have you lived in SoCal (if at all)!
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Yes it does and unless the operators start to penalize US they will for ever unless there is a disaster, at which time Solar (of all flavors) will remain Online... BTW: San Diego has had some solar street light working for years and when the big fires happen guess which light stayed on (and save about $22 per month each) over grid connected lights!
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 02:03 AM
@GB That is what the Japanese said before 3/11/11, how do you justify then global pollution that Fukushima has caused? How much would be acceptable from San Onofre if some of it's tube ruptured and caused a meltdown like Fukushima during aBIG quake? Plus don't believe that it was only the Tsunami that caused the triple meltdowns, TEPCO had access to the logbooks far to long and has a trak record of change records to cover themselves!
Greg Brance March 26, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Do you have any idea of the amount of battery storage it would take to store energy for the power grid? Here is the largest battery in the world in Fairbanks Alaska - http://www.windpowerengineering.com/design/electrical/battery-stores-40-mw-for-ankorage-emergencies/ It can provide a whopping 27 MW of battery power for 15 minutes. 27MW is a drop in the bucket compared to what it would take to seriously store large amounts of power. You are talking 1000(s) of MW would be required for for hours a time. The type of battery technology isn't their for this type of large scale power use. Hydro storage isn't bad. However on the scale necessary to store the energy required would require large holding tanks. This would require large scale construction which also causes large scale changes to the environment. Which then gets the environmental groups up in arms. Wind and Molten Salt isn't bad. Molten Salt they have been able to get a solar plant to work 24-hours straight. However the issue is that these type of technologies require large scale solar plants and the proper transmission lines. There was a recent article in the LA Times about Solar Plants in the desert under fire from environmental groups. The plants are damaging tortoise and desert fox habitats. A couple of years ago someone proposed looking at using Wave Power off SONGS to produce electricity. The substations are already their but the environmental groups didn't like that either.
Greg Brance March 26, 2012 at 03:47 AM
@CaptD The San Onofre reactors where designed to sustain a peak ground acceleration of .67 G. The Fukushima reactors where designed for a ground acceleration of .45-.46 G. So the San Onofre reactors are actually designed to better earthquake specs than the Fukushima reactors. What are you showing from your resources is the maximum peak ground acceleration that San Onofre reactors are built to survive?
chrystal coleman March 26, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Better a brown out or a black out than diseased and dying. Better a little inconvenience than uninhabitable property. If you want to talk cost efficient, lets talk about that. Lets talk about YOUR property values after a nuclear meltdown. Every home within 50 miles, maybe more will be uninhabitable. Buh-bye property investment. Fall out spreads in the wind, in the water. Lets talk about our food supply. Our water supply. Contaminated crops and livestock. Lets talk about YOUR kids and YOUR grandkids consuming these things. The chemicals mutating their cells. Lets talk about Cancer. Ever watch someone you love die of cancer? Ever have a deformed baby? Lets talk about business lost. Every Business in a 50 mile radius will shut down. NO ONE comes into a nuclear dead zone. What will THAT do for job creation and local economy? I'd rather be hot and inconvenienced than be thrown into that living hell. But that's just me.
chrystal coleman March 26, 2012 at 05:29 AM
absolutely!!!!!
chrystal coleman March 26, 2012 at 05:30 AM
exactly!!
chrystal coleman March 26, 2012 at 05:30 AM
agreed!
chrystal coleman March 26, 2012 at 05:33 AM
that would just be too intelligent! Every house having it's own solar panels? What shocking smart thinking!
Lillian Champion March 26, 2012 at 07:51 AM
If we in the US are being so drastically affected by a meltdown over 6000 miles away, what do you think a meltdown in California would do to most of the United States? Expert: We’ll see a statistically meaningful increase in cancer from Fukushima on west coast (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/expert-canada-statistically-meaningful-increase-cancer-fukushima-west-coast-after-japan-radioactive-area-cascades-portland-cesium-100-bqm-video
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Crystal I'm with you 100% Please check the above link for a great map of what the radioactive pollution might look like!
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 04:44 PM
That is why the Germans have decided to shut down their Reactors ASAP! Childhood Leukemia Spikes Near Nuclear Power Plants http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/344-208/9671-childhood-leukemia-spikes-near-nuclear-power-plants
CaptD March 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Seen the latest Reader article: Reactors and Liquid Hydrogen: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/news-ticker/2012/mar/26/nuclear-power-as-a-source-of-hydrogen-fuel/?c=116342 Seems the nuclear Industry now wants to ALSO position themselves as a provider of Liquid Hydrogen... Imagine if Fukushima also had huge tanks of highly flammable liquid Hydrogen inside their Complex! Using Solar (of all flavors) to disassociate water into Hydrogen is fine by me but adding liquid Hydrogen and Nuclear reactors is a MAJOR explosion just waiting to happen...
Stan Jacobs March 27, 2012 at 04:57 AM
We do not have enough resources for the uncontrolled growth in Orange County. Apparently, another thousand homes are planned for the Ortega Highway area. An intelligent, independent feasibility study should be conducted prior to anymore permitted subdivisions. Do we need another Fukushima disaster to wake us up to reality?
CaptD March 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I agree and while they are doing that study I hope they also do the health related study of all those that live close by... I believe that the CURRENT PROBE into San Onofre will expose many more questionable tubes and also an ongoing coverup of safety related info that was concealed in order to sidestep NRC notifications. San Onofre has the worst safety record of all US reactors and it just makes sense that the Operator will be trying very hard to keep the lid on anything that draw attention to their reactor or it's operation. The NRC gave the Nuclear Industry a "PASS" on the tube wear issue before on San Onofre and many of the other reactors around the Country http://wp.­me/p21p6a-­77L BUT NOW They are realizing that they have a much bigger problem than they first "imagined"­; metal erosion/weakness cannot be tolerated when the radioactiv­e leakage is not only high in temperatur­e and pressure but also high in amount of radiation! Would you use a dangerous leaking pressure pot day after day,... or would you be smart and replace it with something safer? Fragile tubes and a EARTH QUAKE could makes a large number of those tubes all fail; which is what I think happened in Fukushima!
Patti Davis March 27, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Breaking News Just In... http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_20264852/apnewsbreak-report-warns-nuke-risk-calif
CaptD March 27, 2012 at 05:17 PM
(JUST AS I POSTED 6:21 pm on Sunday, March 25, 2012, see ABOVE near top) Southern California heating up as public and utility head for face-off over repairs http://wp.me/p21p6a-884 SNIP A report authored by Fairewinds Associates warns that a more detailed study is needed on the alloy tubing in the plant’s steam generators before the twin reactors at San Onofre are restarted, according to The Associated Press. The utility that runs California’s San Onofre nuclear plant misled federal regulators about equipment and design changes that are the likely cause of extensive wear on tubing that carries radioactive water, a report commissioned by an environmental group claimed Tuesday.
Summer Hemphill March 27, 2012 at 05:52 PM
It's a lie !!! I don't "blackout",but sometimes after hitting the bong I will take a nap in the heat of the afternoon sunshine !!!
CaptD March 27, 2012 at 06:07 PM
http://www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2012-03-nuclear-engineer-warns-unresolved-safety-issues-threaten-san-onofre-reactors snip The steam generators at both reactors are only months old and were installed at a cost to ratepayers of some $671 million. In his analysis of available public information, Gundersen has concluded that "both units 2 and 3 have experienced extraordinarily rapid degradation of their steam generator tubes." He has concluded that the "severe short-term steam generator degradation" could lead to a "large risk of tube failure" and result in "an uncontrolled release of radiation into the environment." While the NRC has said that the "root cause of the tube leak has not yet been determined," Gundersen concludes that four significant changes were made to the design of the new steam generators, all of which may be contributing to their dramatic degradation: the tube alloy used is different, the reactor flow rate was changed, more steam generator tubes were added, and key modifications were made to the "egg crate" architecture that holds the tubing in the steam generator. Yet when Edison notified the NRC that it would be replacing the steam generators, it argued that it was making a "like for like" replacement. By misleading the NRC on the true nature of the replacement, Edison fooled the NRC into giving a rubber stamp and not conducting a thorough NRC review and approval process.
CaptD March 27, 2012 at 07:41 PM
+ Additional BIG News about San Onofre: As the above link points out: Edison kept steam generator replacement details secret from NRC IMO: The NRC now MUST get tough with Edison, they should close them DOWN and also slap a BIG fine on them... they have put all of SoCal at risk! No wonder they have the worse reactor safety record in the USA!
CaptD March 31, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Great reply :-)
CaptD March 31, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Yes Patti Solar (of all flavors) is not only ready for prime time but its cost is dropping almost daily... Unlike nuclear which does nothing but increase as they try and deal with additional NEW problems, costs to operate and then long term storage forever!

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