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ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 2, 2012 — Southern California Edison (SCE) continues to perform extensive testing and inspections of the steam generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Unit 2 was taken out of service on Jan. 9 for a planned refueling outage, inspections and maintenance. During these inspections, SCE engineers found some isolated areas of tube wear. This resulted in the plugging of approximately 1 percent of the tubes preventively in Unit 2. That amount is well within the extra tube allowance for each steam generator to account for wear and other routine operational developments.
On Jan. 31, a water leak was detected in one of the Unit 3 steam generator tubes. The unit was safely taken off line. Initial analysis from the inspections does not indicate any correlation between the leak in Unit 3 and the tube wear seen in Unit 2. However, SCE has decided not to restart Unit 2 until it is satisfied that the issue with Unit 3 will not occur in Unit 2. This is a thoughtful process that requires deliberate and meticulous analysis. Based on that analysis, the utility will identify any other tests or decisions that may be necessary as a result.
"Nuclear safety is our top priority," said Pete Dietrich, SCE senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. "Everything we do — from normal plant operations and routine refueling outages to specialized repairs and equipment replacement — is done with the utmost care to protect the health and well-being of the community and our employees. There is no timeline on safety."
During the Unit 2 planned outage, SCE engineers performed inspection, maintenance and repair work, including replacing the reactor head and modifying the steam turbine with new high-pressure turbine components that run more efficiently. Approximately half of the reactor fuel also was replaced with new fuel.
Inspection, testing and analysis continue in Unit 3.
SCE is committed to the safe operation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and will not return the plant’s generating units to service until the company is satisfied it is safe to do so.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.