Another Blow to Our Nuclear-Powered Future

In my piece earlier this week on California’s potential energy renaissance I mentioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS):

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, opened in 1968, provided power to 1.4 million homes and businesses in southern California before its two generators were shut down in January 2012. Southern California Edison (SCE), the utility that runs San Onofre, halted operations when premature wear from replacement steam generators resulted in a leak of radioactive steam. The generators have been offline since, but Edison is awaiting a decision from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about whether it can restart one generator at 70 percent power. The company has said that if it cannot get NRC approval soon, mounting costs (some $470 million) will force it to close the plant permanently.

Alas, today is the day. Edison announced this morning that it is closing San Onofre permanently. Ted Craver, CEO of Edison International, said: “We have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if SONGS might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs.”

It’s another blow to America’s nuclear-energy industry. For more on those squandered opportunities, check out William Tucker’s article, “Wasted,” in the June 17 issue of National Review.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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