Media Contact: Gil Alexander, (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Oct. 8, 2010 – Southern California Edison (SCE) plans this fall to shut down one of two reactor units at its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station for a major construction program. The project involves replacing the plant’s largest components – steam generators – and will add approximately 1,000 temporary jobs to the region. The construction program will generate a total of approximately $300 million in local spending, including wages, equipment, material, and services purchased from local businesses.
“We decided to replace the San Onofre plant’s steam generators when a cost-benefit assessment revealed the plan could save customers approximately $1 billion during the plant’s current license period, which runs through 2022, when power generated by the plant was compared to the likely cost of replacement power,” said SCE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Fohrer.
Each new steam generator is 65 feet tall, 22 feet in diameter and weighs 640 tons. The components produce steam that drives the plant’s huge turbines, generating enough total electricity to serve 1.4 million average homes. The Unit 3 construction outage will last three to four months and will include steam generator replacement, refueling and maintenance. Unit 2 is expected to continue normal operations during construction work on Unit 3.
“Our highest priority during the upcoming construction outage will be to protect the health and safety of workers and the public,” said SCE Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Joe Sheppard. “Plant personnel successfully and safely replaced the same components in Unit 2 last fall. The new steam generators are performing well.”
Removing the original components and installing the replacement equipment requires cutting a temporary opening in the side of the protective concrete dome. Measures will be taken to ensure safety during the process, including removal of all fuel from the unit. The construction process used to reseal the opening creates a dome of equal or greater strength.
The San Onofre plant’s steam generators are among the last in the U.S. nuclear power fleet to require replacement. The replacement process has been successfully and safely carried out by 52 of 58 pressurized water reactors.
- The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s ongoing contributions to communities near the plant include more than $200 million annually in direct economic benefits through high-quality jobs, $6 million in local property tax payments and $300,000 in employee and corporate contributions to local charities.
- An application for steam generator replacement was filed with California Public Utilities Commission in Feb. 2004 and approved by the commission in Dec. 2005 after a detailed review determined the project would benefit utility customers.
- Total project costs of $671 million will be shared among plant owners SCE, San Diego Gas & Electric and the City of Riverside.
- Construction work and other plant operations are continuously monitored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
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.