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Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Plant to Be Shut Through August

Edison International, owner of California’s second largest electric utility, said its San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California will remain shut through August.

The utility expects to submit a restart plan for the plant’s Unit 2 reactor to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of July, said Jennifer Manfre, a company spokeswoman.

The NRC, which must sign off on the plan, will probably need about a month to review the utility’s findings, Manfre said in a telephone interview. Edison doesn’t have a timeline for bringing its Unit 3 reactor back, Manfre said.

Edison estimated in March that the plant may return to service by June, according to a statement on the company’s website.

San Onofre has been offline since January after inspectors found unusual wear on steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water. Some tubes were rubbing, causing them to degrade, Chief Executive Officer Ted Craver said on May 30 at a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. investor conference in New York.

Edison has plugged and repaired about 3 percent of the tubes in the generators, Craver said. The steam generators, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., were installed two years ago at a total cost of $671 million. Mitsubishi’s liability is limited to $137 million under its purchase contract with Edison, according to a regulatory filing on May 2.

Edison estimated its share of inspection and repair costs to be in the range of $55 million to $65 million, according to the May 2 filing.

Lost Capacity

Edison’s Southern California Edison utility and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co. will pay $2.5 million a month for power from two AES Corp. generating units to help make up for lost capacity from San Onofre, the California ISO, the state’s grid operator, said on May 11.

Edison owns 78.21 percent of San Onofre, while Sempra owns 20 percent and the city of Riverside owns 1.8 percent, according to Edison’s website.

San Onofre, located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of Los Angeles, can produce enough power for 1.76 million average homes, based on Energy Department statistics.

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