SCE Submits Draft License Amendment for Nuclear Plant Unit 2 Restart
Amendment Submitted to Meet Customer Electricity Demand During Hot Summer Months
Posted April 1, 2013 - 10:00 a.m. PDT
Media Contact: Media Relations, (626) 302-2255
Investor Relations Contact: Scott Cunningham, (626) 302-2540
ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 1, 2013 — Southern California Edison (SCE) has voluntarily submitted a draft license amendment request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for discussion. The draft is designed to support safely restarting Unit 2 of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station to address customer electricity demand and grid reliability concerns during the upcoming summer months. SCE is considering submitting a final amendment request after discussing it with the NRC staff at a public meeting Wednesday in Rockville, Maryland.
The draft license amendment request, if finalized and submitted for NRC approval, would support SCE's plan to operate Unit 2 at 70 percent power for five months. Operating at 70 percent power prevents conditions that caused the tube-to-tube wear in Unit 3 that resulted in the nuclear plant being shut down since January 2012. SCE and three independent companies with expertise in nuclear generation have confirmed it is safe to operate the Unit 2 steam generators. The NRC has been evaluating these analyses, which are based on exhaustive testing and inspections, since October 2012.
"Since last fall, SCE has provided the public and the NRC with detailed analyses from global experts that support safe restart of Unit 2," said Ron Litzinger, SCE president. "We are considering the proposed voluntary amendment as the best path to get Unit 2 safely up and running before the hottest months of the year hit our region."
SCE would be asking the NRC to act on the amendment before the end of May to facilitate timely restart of Unit 2 to meet peak summer electricity demand. Following the initial five-month operating period, SCE would shut down Unit 2 for steam generator tube inspections. Based on inspection data, Unit 2 would resume operation at 70 percent power for an appropriate operating period during the remainder of the 18-24 month fuel cycle while SCE updates its analysis to determine the appropriate long-term power level.
The San Onofre nuclear plant 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. According to testimony filed by SCE for its General Rate Case and as part of a report prepared in 2010 by IHS Global Insight, operating the nuclear plant directly generates economic activity worth on average $2.2 billion per year. The impact grows to $3.3 billion per year if secondary economic effects are considered, which include the supply chain purchases of businesses supported by the nuclear plant and spending by those employed by the plant.
Both units at the San Onofre nuclear plant 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.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.