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Outage Blamed on Faulty Switch, Not Shut Nuke Plant

An SDG&E spokesman says a switch shut off, throwing 18,000 into darkness.

It was a problem with a single switch at the San Mateo substation in south San Clemente

The outage had nothing to do with the , said Duane Cave, a spokesman for San Diego Gas & Electric.

"It has nothing to do with generation," he said. "It all has to do with having a fault in the distribution system, either a cable or a piece of equipment."

The Thursday outage was ; both outages were attributed to malfunctions in the grid.

Everyone's power was back on by early Friday morning, Cave said.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shut down in January after a radioactive steam leak

The Independent System Operator, the statewide group that handles the allocation of electricity throughout the state,

SDG&E asserted earlier this summer, however, that

But at least one local anti-nuclear group has speculated that the utilites would cause artificial blackouts to make the case for continued operation of the plant, and individuals on Twitter and the Patch comment boards have offered similar speculation.

If there were blackouts caused by a lack of power from San Onofre, according to past statements by SDG&E's Cave in public meetings, they would likely happen during the final days of a prolonged heat wave. Any potential blackouts of this type would probably come in the middle of the day, when everyone is using air conditioners.

Marc Schroeder July 14, 2012 at 03:36 PM
If it was "a switch or cable" Why did our lights dim for 20 minutes while many of our neighbors had full power, then the whole city went black? I also am at a loss to understand how you can fix a problem without knowing what it is? And why did it take so long for Edison to come up with this "explanation"?
Al July 15, 2012 at 02:24 PM
This is true I saw my lights look like the where about to go out about a 1/2 hour before they did like there was a overload some where , a faulty switch ! if it were that simple how come the 2 hours in the dark I would hope the technology is better than that with all the money they make off us come on !
Chris_B July 19, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Dim lights can be a result of voltage drops, which can happen when one line goes down and places more load on others. Just physics. Any power company's first priority is restoring power. I'm sure they knew within minutes what happened, where and how severe. Next task is assigning an emergency crew to hop on it. Waking up their PR people to release a statement is really not a top priority. Should it be?

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