In some very welcome news, the Los Angeles Times reports that Southern California Edison today announced it will not re-start the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant this summer. As the article reports, "When running at full capacity, San Onofre supplies about 2,200 megawatts of power and makes up 19% of the power provided to Edison customers. With contingency plans in place, officials said Southern California should be able to get through the summer without power shortages under all but the most extreme circumstances." Which begs the question, why run these reactors in this earthquake and tsunami zone, when they are not even needed during the highest peak electricity demand season of the year?!
Brand new steam generators, costings many hundreds of millions of dollars, have suffered unexplained tube failure just a year or two into operations. A cascading steam generator tube failure can lead to a Loss of Coolant Accident in the reactor cores, and meltdowns. Groups such as Nuclear Free California (a coalition of grassroots and national organizations, including Beyond Nuclear) and Friends of the Earth, however, are calling for San Onofre's permanent shut down.