Jaczko: No Schedule for SONGS Restart

The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rebuffed recent projections for the restart of reactors at the San Onofre nuclear plant, describing them as premature.

On Monday, NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko issued a statement making plain that regulators do not currently have a timeline for the plant’s resumed operation. This follows an earnings call with analysts last week and correspondence with a state grid operator wherein Southern California Edison speculated the two units might come online at reduced power in June.

Jaczko’s statement read:

“Despite some erroneous reports in the media, there is no NRC timetable for restart of the San Onofre nuclear reactors, which have been shut down over safety issues affecting the steam generators. We have yet to receive the utility’s written response documenting their completion of actions described in the March 27 Confirmatory Action Letter, so any discussion of a date for the restart of Unit 2 or Unit 3 is clearly premature. Once we receive their response, we will take whatever time is necessary to conduct a thorough safety review.”

Both reactors at the nuclear plant between San Diego and Los Angeles have been down for months following a steam leak in one unit and the discovery of premature tube wear within steam generators installed at both units. Inspections by both the utility and the NRC have listed the likely cause as vibration and rubbing affecting a handful of tubes, which are being repaired by plugging.

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