Southern California Edison Responds to NRC Technical Questions
Southern California Edison (SCE) has submitted additional information requested by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue discussion of the steps necessary to restart San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2 and to address current compliance with the plant's technical specifications.
The new information builds on the comprehensive analysis and restart proposal SCE submitted to the NRC in October 2012 in response to an NRC Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL). The submittal also provides information about how SCE anticipates addressing ongoing steam generator analysis and interim measures beyond the operating period proposed in SCE's response to the CAL. SCE has proposed restarting Unit 2 at 70 percent power for five months to prevent the conditions that caused excessive tube wear in San Onofre's steam generators.
The NRC has asked 32 detailed questions about the Unit 2 restart plan and is expected to pose more questions, known as Requests for Additional Information (RAIs). On Monday, SCE submitted a response to the NRC's RAI 32 posed on Dec. 26, 2012, regarding compliance with San Onofre technical specifications requiring the ability to maintain steam generator tube integrity in the full range of normal operating conditions.
“This question and answer process is an important part of safety-based technical solutions in the nuclear industry, and it strengthens our ability to communicate to all stakeholders the safety principles and proven industry operating experience that the Unit 2 restart plan was built upon,” said Pete Dietrich, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of SCE.
SCE's independent global experts have already completed several operational assessments for Unit 2. In the RAI 32 response, SCE proposes to supplement those with an additional evaluation by March 15, 2013 to demonstrate that structural integrity can be met for Unit 2 at 100 percent rated thermal power. Even with this supplemental analysis, SCE intends to only operate at 70 percent power for five months before completing another set of thorough inspections.
“We are committed to being open and transparent as we move toward safe restart of Unit 2, and we look forward to discussing all our RAI responses with the NRC,” Dietrich said. The NRC will webcast the RAI meeting with SCE on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The NRC's questions and SCE's responses to the RAIs will be posted at www.SONGScommunity.com as they become available.
SCE's restart plan includes evaluations from independent experts who completed more than 170,000 inspections to understand and address tube wear issues at San Onofre.
San Onofre is the largest source of baseload generation and voltage support in the region and is a critical asset in meeting California's clean energy needs. Both units at San Onofre are currently safely shut down. Unit 2 remains shut down since it was taken out of service Jan. 9, 2012, for a planned outage. Unit 3 was safely taken offline Jan. 31, 2012, after station operators detected a leak in a steam generator tube.
More information is available at www.edison.com/SONGSupdate and at www.SONGScommunity.com. San Onofre is jointly owned by SCE (78.21 percent), San Diego Gas & Electric (20 percent) and the city of Riverside (1.79 percent). Follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/SCE) and like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SCE).
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
Media Contact: Media Relations, (626) 302-2255