It looks like there are still a few problems at the San Onofre nuclear (or “nucular” if you’re George Bush!) plant south of San Clemente. In January, sensors picked up a water leak in steam tubes that led to the shutdown of a reactor. This week, more problems emerged in steam tubes and now a contingent from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is on site to investigate. From the Orange County Register:
Four more steam-generator tubes failed pressure tests Thursday at the San Onofre nuclear plant, according to plant operator Southern California Edison.
Three other tubes in the San Onofre nuclear plant’s Unit 3 reactor failed pressure tests Wednesday.
The failures prompted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to send a special inspection team to the troubled plant, and the five-member team was expected to arrive Monday.
Such teams are sent to nuclear plants “for more significant issues,” said NRC spokeswoman Lara Uselding.
The team will examine “the design, contruction and transport of the steam generators, everything related to the steam generators from the start, to installation, operation, and now the testing,” she said.
An NRC steam-generator expert is already on site, she said.
The failure of the steam generator tubes was called “unusual” by Jennifer Manfre, spokeswoman for Southern California Edison, which operates the plant.
With the unfortunate accident at Fukushima fresh in the minds of many people (last week was the 1 year anniversary of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami), I’m sure Edison is doing everything they can to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.