San Onofre Offline This Summer

San Onofre nuclear power plant will go a second summer without providing Southern California Edison customers any electricity due to the release of radioactive vapors from the plant’s recently replaced steam valves. Edison provides Santa Barbara with most of its electricity, and energy officials are concerned that without San Onofre online, the state might find itself more vulnerable to power outages if backcountry fires break out at the same time and bring down Edison’s power lines. At full operation, San Onofre produced enough electricity to power 1.4 million homes. The utility company is hoping the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will allow the plant to operate at less than full capacity under the operating theory there won’t be sufficient vibrational energy to cause further rupturing of the steam valves. That option, however, is unlikely to secure the necessary approvals by this summer.

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