Steam Generator Replacement

Media Contact: Gil Alexander, (626) 302-2255

ROSEMEAD, Calif., September 4, 2009 – Southern California Edison (SCE) will launch, at the end of this month, one of the region’s largest construction projects that will create more than 1,000 temporary jobs and generate roughly $300 million in spending benefiting Southern California businesses.

The utility will begin replacing steam generators inside the two concrete domes at its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Each new 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 electricity to serve 2.4 million average homes.

The four original steam generators – two per generating unit – are approaching the end of their service. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis concluded that replacing steam generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station could save utility customers as much as $1 billion during the next two decades when compared to the likely cost of obtaining from other sources the 2,200 megawatts of power the plant generates.

SCE plans to replace the two steam generators in the northern unit this fall and those in the southern unit during the fall of 2010.

“San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has become increasingly important to our customers and to California as one of the state’s most effective tools for addressing its environmental goals,” said Ross Ridenoure, SCE senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “The plant emits virtually no carbon so it contributes to California’s aggressive greenhouse gas reduction commitment.”

San Onofre is one of the last plants in the U.S. nuclear power fleet to replace its steam generators. The process has been successfully carried out by 49 of 58 U.S. plants of similar design without a serious safety incident. To remove the original components and install the new equipment, a temporary opening will be cut in the side of the protective domes. When the openings are resealed, the special construction process to be used will result in domes of equal or greater strength.

Background Facts

  • An application for steam generator replacement was filed with California Public Utilities Commission in Feb. 2003 and approved by the commission in Dec. 2005 after a detailed review determined the project would benefit utility customers.
  • Total project costs of $670 million will be shared among plant owners SCE, San Diego Gas & Electric and the city of Riverside.
  • Unit 2 steam generators will be replaced during a planned refueling and maintenance outage this fall. Unit 3 generators will be replaced during an outage planned for late 2010.
  • The construction project will be reviewed and 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.


Southern California Edison to Launch One of Southern California’s Largest Construction Projects