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Southern California’s electrical grid might not need nuclear power – ever!

San Onofre: Do we really need it?   UT San Diego, 28 June 12, This summer may be just a test run for operating Southern California’s electrical grid without a nuclear plant.

The latest report on the outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shows the replacement of four massive steam generators was accompanied by serious design flaws, with no clear solution in sight.

Both stakeholders in San Onofre and critics of nuclear power say the start of a summer without the twin-reactor plant has forced a new accounting for its costs and benefits.

The utility industry and the state’s main grid operator are “considering a range of existing and new alternatives for mitigating the impacts of a long-term or permanent shutdown at San Onofre,” said Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the California Independent System Operator….. the grid operator foresees only the remote chance of rolling outages during hot weather in the next three months — when San Onofre is needed the most.

That assessment alone has changed perceptions of the plant as indispensable, said Dan Sullivan, president of San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power, which employs 65 workers designing and installing solar arrays.

The plant shutdown — along with California’s aggressive renewable-energy policies and a newly completed transmission line into San Diego — have shifted the conversation about nuclear power. The day is coming, Sullivan said, when “we can just say, ‘We’re done.
We don’t need it anymore.’ ”….


June 29, 2012 - Posted by | business and costs, renewable, USA

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