San Onofre Shut Down 1/31/2012

San Onofre Unit 2 and 3 are both down today (1/31/2012) and yet we still have plenty of power without this nuclear plant running. Unit 2 is shut down for maintenance and Unit 3 is shut down after a possible leak.  Tell me again why we are risking our lives, the environment and the future of California for energy we obviously can live without?

Stop this unnecessary risk. Sign the California Nuclear Initiative to shut down California’s two nuclear plants

In the San Clemente Patch February 1, 2012 article below, Edison mislead the public, stating there was no radiation leak into the atmosphere.  The Edison January 31, 2012 press release said the same thing and Edison’s Gil Alexander said the same thing February 1st in this KPBS midday interview 

Edison did not admit to the leaks into the environment for over 17 days.  Edison issued a press release February 17, 2012 admitting to the radiation leaks into the atmosphere.  They provided these numbers in the press release, but since they never really measured the release, this is only an “estimate”.  Hiding for 17 days that there were radioactive leaks into the atmosphere does not build trust. Why would anyone trust Southern California Edison to tell the truth or to competently manage a nuclear facilities?

The radioactivity released to atmosphere during the steam generator tube leak was barely measurable – 4E-5 millirems or 0.00004 millirems — which is 200 times less than you would receive by having a smoke detector in your home for a year. This updates our initial estimate of 7E-7 millirems or 0.0000007 millirems that we provided to the NRC.

The leak started in the afternoon, but the reactor was not shutdown until operators starting shutting down Reactor Unit 2 manually at 5:31 pm.  It did not automatically shut down. A similar San Diego Tribune January 31, 2012 report by Morgan Lee had similar reportsNBC San Diego reported February 1, 2012 that their may be a leak, but they didn’t know how much, yet they provided an “estimate” to the NRC.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks says a small amount of radioactive gas “could have” escaped the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on the northern San Diego Coast.

Southern California Edison spokesman Gil Alexander told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the amount would have been “extremely small” and possibly not detectable by monitors.

The company and federal regulators say the release would not have posed a safety risk for the public.

Perhaps, a very small amount of radiation leaked into the atmosphere, and if that were the case it’s not even showing up on our detection,” Alexander said.

San Onofre Nuclear Reactor Shut Down After Leak – San Clemente Patch, Adam Townsend, Tuesday, February 1, 2012

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shut down its Unit 3 Tuesday afternoon because sensors detected a leak in the unit’s steam generator tubes.

“The potential leak poses no imminent danger to the public or plant workers,” according to a Southern California Edison statement. “There has been no release to the atmosphere.”

San Onofre spokesman Gil Alexander said sensors tripped this afternoon, showing mildly radioactive water was leaking from one of two water systems in the steam generator apparatus of Unit 3….

Alexander said it is the system with the contaminated water that shows evidence of leaking. All leakage is contained within the thick concrete containment dome, he said.

The plant is set to shut itself down at the first sign of problems, that plunged Southern California into darkness in September.

But this leak was minor enough that it did not trigger the automatic shutdown of the unit; plant workers initiated it manually as a precaution at 5:31 p.m. Tuesday, Alexander said.

Alexander said Tuesday night that the dome is closed off and technicians are cooling down the reactor, a process that takes about 12 hours. After the cool-down, a crew will enter the dome, assess the leak and take steps to begin repairing it.

Unit 2 is currently offline for a planned maintenance, refueling and technology upgrade outage.

SCE has ample reserve power to meet customer needs while Unit 3 is offline, according to a company spokesman, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was immediately informed of the shutdown.

New 640-ton steam generators were installed in 2010 in the north dome and the ones in the south dome were replaced in 2009 as part of a .

About Donna Gilmore

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