AP: California’s San Onofre nuclear plant shuts down indefinitely over safety worries

Published: March 17th, 2012 at 1:20 am ET


UPDATED: [intlink id=”l-a-local-news-new-problems-at-the-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-special-team-called-in-more-tubes-fail-nrc-trying-to-figure-out-why-its-happening-so-quickly-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: Safety worries shut down San Onofre nuclear plant
Source: AP
Date: March 16, 2012
Emphasis Added

A nuclear reactor on the Southern California coast will remain shut down indefinitely while a team of federal inspectors determines why several relatively new tubes became so frail that tests found they could rupture and release radioactive water, a federal official said Thursday

The Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, located about 45 miles north of San Diego, was shut down as a precaution on Jan. 31 after a water leak from another tube in a massive steam generator. Traces of radiation escaped, but officials say there was no danger to workers or neighbors. […]

According to the NRC, the tubes have an important safety role because they represent one of the primary barriers between the radioactive and non-radioactive sides of the plant. If a tube breaks, radioactivity from the system that pumps water through the reactor could escape into the atmosphere. […]

Read the report here

h/t Nuclear Hotseat

Published: March 17th, 2012 at 1:20 am ET


Related Posts

  1. “Unusual” find at shutdown Calif. nuke plant: “Safety implications could be very, very severe” — “I’ve never heard of anything like that” -Retired NRC engineer February 2, 2012
  2. Problems escalate at California’s San Onofre nuke plant — Second reactor in jeopardy April 12, 2012
  3. Fire at California’s San Onofre nuclear plant burns for over 40 minutes — Cause unknown April 21, 2012
  4. L.A. Local News: “New problems at the San Onofre nuclear plant” — Special team called in — More tubes fail — NRC trying to figure out why it’s happening so quickly (VIDEO) March 17, 2012
  5. New Gundersen Video — Plus: Local TV interviews anonymous nuclear plant worker who exposes “dangerous” San Onofre (VIDEOS) May 16, 2012

55 comments to AP: California’s San Onofre nuclear plant shuts down indefinitely over safety worries

  • Anthony Anthony

    The 911 reverse calls were not a good sign.

    Its easy to believe the end is nearing for life as we knew it.

    Our perils will overtake us.

    Nobody is dealing with the hot potatoes.

  • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

    "tubes became so frail that tests found they could rupture and release radioactive water, a federal official said Thursday."

    Should read:

    tubes are so frail that they ruptured and released radioactive water.

    One down, four hundred more to go!


    • Exactly what I was thinking: they did not discover that tubes COULD or MIGHT break. They discovered that tubes DID break, and that more WILL break as soon as they are pressurized. During normal operation multiple tubes DID BREAK and DID RELEASE RADIATION. They had to scram the reactor due to the fact that the leakage was rapidly increasing and tube ruptures were spreading. Their brief tests after they had to shut down the reactor involved pressurizing the tubes (like what happens while the plant is running) but as soon as they did, more of them burst. Many plants in the U.S. and worldwide have these same tubes. Other plants have similar tubes…only they are years or decades older. Likewise, ALL nuke plants have thousands of safety-critical components, systems, pipes, wires, and building materials. The failure of one or more of these WILL cause another accident. Human error WILL cause another nuclear catastrophe…. UNLESS we Shut them DOWN!

    • openeye openeye

      ROGER THAT! And not just nuc. power plants. This just out on a nuc. weapons facility that regularly emits radiation and the town is pretty much just in denial. Lawrence Livermore Lab & the Continued Nuclear Arms Race3/13, 2012
      MEDIA ROOTS — Abby and Robbie Martin grew up in Pleasanton, CA, a city located ten miles from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a secret nuclear weapons production facility. They initially set out to explore the psychological impacts of taking nuclear testing into virtual space. But as their investigation unfolded, they found that the LLNL—in conjunction with Site 300—has built an impressive greenwashing PR campaign cloaking a sinister reality.

      Despite a moratorium on nuclear testing, the nuclear arms race continues unabated at very high costs. In addition to the startling cases of LLNL's mismanagement of dangerous materials and 'accidental' releases, the facilities are still testing every radioactive component of a nuclear bomb in open air, according to sources.

      Malignant melanoma (skin cancer) rates are six times higher among children born in Livermore; melanoma has been linked to radiation exposure. And the amount of radiation which has been expelled from the lab since its inception is equivalent to that released from the bombing of Hiroshima. Most disturbingly, the Livermore community is largely unaware of what the lab is actually doing and what its potential impacts are on its health and the environment. http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/nuclear-arms-race-continues-undercover.html Lets OPEN eyes!!!!

  • Kevin Kevin

    The first of a long string of dominoes.

    Lets hope.

    (In terms of shutdowns, not accidents! lol)

  • bleep_hits_blades

    Good 'translation' PoorDaddy!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    U.S. doesn't need nuclear reactors, (they only supply 20%) so dismantle that piece of junk. Besides, Southern California is overdue for a big quake.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Great news to start the weekend with. 🙂

  • WindorSolarPlease

    It must have been pretty bad for them to shut it down.

    Keep it shut down and continue to shut them all down.

    Don't Stop There!!

  • Sickputer

    Looking good Golden State folks! Omaha and Virginia folks are jealous. Yes I know it sucks for workers to lose jobs. But they may have a chance at a new life without tritium in their bloodstream!

    I predict that plant will NEVER run another fuel cycle. The tide is turning and they have no more viable options as bankers will not fund major repairs for a toxic industry. The merchants of death will have to get Uncle Sam to guarantee their liability and his pockets are getting mighty bare. Practically a penniless beggar.

  • BeniJax

    Finally, some good news. I used to surf near San Onofre, before I learned all nuclear power plants release radioactivity into their local environments. We used to call the gigantic 2-3 inch long bugs "San Onofre crickets" found near the plant. I don't know what they really are but scary big for a bug…so excited about the closing!

  • They Lie

    It's shut down "indefinitely" not permanently

    But it can be shut down permanently along with Diablo Canyon npp


    April 7 deadline

  • CaMom

    I thought they had two generators with problems – not just one?

  • truthseek truthseek

    While insurmountable damage has .already. been done…
    this is a great thing to start shutting them down…

  • truthseek truthseek

    One by one…

  • arclight arclight

    IAEA declares Pakistan’s nuclear program safe and secure
    by BNO News on April 25, 2011

    “The IAEA’s chief added that clean energy generation, including solar, hydropower, wind, and nuclear, is a much needed way to address the world’s growing energy demands as fossil fuels are running out.

    “Another serious nuclear accident or terrorist incident will completely erase the development of nuclear power worldwide,”

    added the Director General. “We need new thinking and a new approach adapted to our dynamically changing global situations.”


    “Another serious nuclear accident or terrorist incident will completely erase the development of nuclear power worldwide,”

    “Another serious nuclear accident or terrorist incident will completely erase the development of nuclear power worldwide,”


  • a female faust a female faust

    look at this:

    <blockquote>Title: Safety worries shut down San Onofre nuclear plant
    Source: AP
    Date: March 16, 2012</blockquote>

    <blockquote>A nuclear reactor on the Southern California coast <em>will remain shut down indefinitely</em> …a federal official <em>said Thursday.</em>
    The Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, located about 45 miles north of San Diego, <em><strong>was shut down as a precaution on Jan. 31</em></strong></blockquote>

    what i want to know is:
    why are we just finding out about it NOW?

  • a female faust a female faust


  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    There are a few mentions of San Onofre in the NRC FOIA docs..they knew and know…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    My, my …this news comes just days after the NRC (Jaczko) told the Congressional committee that San Onofre was safe..
    They lied directly to Barbara Boxer..publicly anyway…
    Anyone want to bet that she knew/knows San Onofre is in trouble?

    • Mack Mack

      "The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant has the worst safety record of all U.S. nuclear reactors according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) safety allegation data. See chart for details. Read more about Safety Allegations and how employees are being retaliated against for reporting safety issues."


  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Wonder if theres a correlation between the shutting of the plant and the high readings folks were getting on the beach last weekend?

    • NoNukes NoNukes

      Yes, there go those Japanese, shutting down an American Nuclear Plant. Do you think it will give Americans pause before they start complaining about the Japanese again?

  • James2

    I think the nukes are going to give up in California – because they are scared stiff of the greenies there.

    Well let me tell you folks – that reactor was a dangerous one – but the most dangerous ones if you live in California are in Japan.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Greenies? I guess you have not seen the cancer rates inside the Sunshine State have you or maybe the other disease rates running rampant through what was at once upon a time a Pristine Ecosystem. Well its not pristine anymore, not even close.

    The sad thing is that these Greenies, as you call them, think they can actually cleanup their ecosystem with fancy new water regulations and spanking new sewage treatment plants. I have news for them, they can't! You might ask well why can't they. Four words, "Invisible Nuclear Radiation Contamination"!

    The world is coming upon the end game whether we living here like it or not and its an invisible and very deadly game. We can't see this Invisible Radiation Contamination and we have no idea where it is located but its now everywhere around us and all over the rest of the West Coast.

    Its in their water and they drink it. Its in their food and on their fertile grounds and then they eat it. Some might taste it but that would be very rare. Its in the air that they breath in and they wonder why they dump allergy medicines down their throats and or have migraine headaches. Its in their building materials and in their cement and they live inside homes contaminated with it. It drops out of the sky and lands on their plants and food stuffs and on their skin etc. and currently it might contaminate all that they touch, brush against or carry on their shoes.

    None of them know its here because they have not been told its here. It is what it is and if you can't see it, them it must not exist, or even be real.

    I could go on but those living and experiencing these lies are paying a hefty price if they are by chance exposed to this invisible radiation contamination.

    Skin cancer rates are skyrocketing as we are told to look at the Sun as the real culprit, yet we never hear about these Radioactive Isotopes showering down upon everyone sitting on the beach.

    Radioactive Isotopes cause skin cancer and its well…

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks


    You get the picture as the battle is now being lost and their is no cure for what now ails our once upon time "Garden of Eden"!

  • a female faust a female faust

    dear hear of the rose — you have a link on that? i am compiling nrc evil for my ownedification….

  • a female faust a female faust

    oh and as far as That Which They Already Knew About — there's the ice into DaIni. They have known about Daini from day one.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Hi there.. a female faust.. I have to run out of here in a few…but I wanted to say.. I don't have links to this at the moment…
    But I will be going through the documents again this week and will pull them out.

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    The gifts that keep on giving… FOREVER and EVER.

    93 Long life Radiation Contaminants

  • arclight arclight

    check out iceland and azores monitors!

    CONTAMINATION FROM USA HITS EUROPE? 7 febuary 2012 Part 1/2 video 16


    CONTAMINATION FROM USA HITS EUROPE? 7 febuary 2012 Part 2/2 video 17


    it hit europe aroung the 6th? saint claude guadelope (south america) on around the 1st feb? iceland probaly on the second feb not the 31st as i said on the video

  • CaptD CaptD

    Great report on what has been released: Radionuclides from the Fukushima accident in the air over Lithuania http://is.gd/fzc4Wu

  • CaptD CaptD

    I believe that the CURRENT PROBE into San Onofre will expose many more questionable tubes and also an ongoing coverup of safety related info that was concealed in order to sidestep NRC notifications. San Onofre has the worst safety record of all US reactors and it just makes sense that the Operator will be trying very hard to keep the lid on anything that draw attention to their reactor or it's operation.

    The NRC gave the Nuclear Industry a "PASS" on the tube wear issue before on San Onofre and many of the other reactors around the Country http://wp.­me/p21p6a-­77L BUT NOW
    They are realizing that they have a much bigger problem than they first "imagined"­; metal erosion/weakness cannot be tolerated when the radioactiv­e leakage is not only high in temperatur­e and pressure but also high in amount of radiation!

    Would you use a dangerous leaking pressure pot day after day,… or would you be smart and replace it with something safer?

    Fragile tubes and a BIG EARTH QUAKE could makes a large number of those tubes all fail; which is what I think happened in Fukushima!

    • arclight arclight

      KICK ARSE THEORY THAT.. i supppose that might explain the dark smoke before the tsunami hit?? hmm?

      • CaptD CaptD

        TEPCO and the entire Nuclear Industry is DESPERATE to avoid the concept that an EQ can start a meltdown because it puts EVERY land based Reactor at RISK of creating a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster…

        They "fiddled" with the 3/11 operators data just enough to make it appear that the Tsunami was the "cause" because most people Globally are not afraid of Tsunamis'… Sure they were adding "makeup" water; but also ask yourself why was that water suddenly required in such massive amounts, MASSIVE RADIOACTIVE LEAKAGE caused by the QUAKE! Think condenser tube, wiring + piping penetrations, and seam welds at reinforcements all starting to fail at the same time because of the ground movement…

  • CaptD CaptD

    From No More Nukes on HP:
    What if….
    with this from me:

    Why RISK some of the best beaches in the USA, or the World,
    … So some utility can make money?

    San Onofre needs to be shutdown and turned into a Mega Surf Park!

    • The beaches are great, but then think about how much of the food in American supermarkets is from California– a lot of food. For every beach lost we would also lose millions of acres of produce…

  • bleep_hits_blades

    I fear it is too late for 'no more nukes' and for surf parks in the radioactive Pacific and for a lotta things. Maybe in 250,000 years or so…

    • CaptD CaptD

      I hear you loud and clear…
      I'm pushing to make sure that there are no more additional Fukushima's…

      Any more and or bombing of nuclear facilities would be a GAME changer IMO!

  • CaptD CaptD

    From mdinoregon on hp

    80% Japanese want nuclear phase-out, says poll

    Eighty per cent of Japanese want to phase out the country’s reliance on nuclear power and eventually eliminate it, a poll said on Sunday, a year after Japan was hit by a massive nuclear disaster. The survey conducted among 3,000 voters showed 80% support the idea of ending nuclear power while 16% are opposed to it, said the survey published by the Tokyo Shimbun.
    But 53% would allow idled nuclear reactors to be restarted as far as electricity demand required as a realistic short-term approach, said the survey that was conducted by the Japan Association for Public Opinion Research comprising major Japanese newspapers.

    Since last year’s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the country’s commercial nuclear power plants have been undergoing safety inspections with just two out of 54 reactors currently online.

    Japanese business circles fear power shortages could slow an already limping economy, but residents near existing plants are against the early resumption of idled reactors, some filing lawsuits seeking injunctions to block the process.


  • CaptD CaptD

    Solar Panel costs per watt:

    $0.83 US$ per Watt

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    The Island has started the process of a very slow death and it will be completely dead within 25 years unless they shut down all their Nuclear reactors and remove all the existing nuclear fuel from this Island.

    I feel the people of Japan can sense the urgency required and they must all move very quickly since the entire Island and region is now very unstable. This unstable condition is in the process of getting much worse as the ring of fire continues to aggressively shift about.

    The recent active volcanoes indicate continued rapid tectonic plate shifts will occur again in the very near future at their exact Island location.

    They need to shut down all these Nuclear Reactors now and then remove all the nuclear fuel stored and or located on this Island immediately.

    The citizens will have to make a decision to either save their way of life and their Island or let it go, as time is running out for all of them, because Mother Nature and her Massive Force will wait for no man or women.

    She is groaning and she has warned these people directly.