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Non-TV Story of the Day: Troubled San Onofre Nuclear Plant in Southern California Shutting Down for Good KPCC, Southern California Edison

"Southern California Edison (SCE) said today (Friday, June 7, 2013) it will close the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (or SONGS)," reports NPR's primary news radio outlet in Los Angeles, KPCC.

The article continues, "The twin-domed nuclear plant, on the seaside border of San Diego and Orange counties, hasn't produced electricity since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusually rapid wear inside hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water in the nearly new generators.

" 'SONGS has served this region for over 40 years,' said Ted Craver, chairman and CEO of Edison International, parent company of SCE, in a news release, 'but we have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if SONGS might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs."

The plant first went into operation in 1968. The reactor that served the plant at that time was shut down in 1992 and then dismantled. Two other nuclear reactors have served the plant since that time. Those two nuclear reactors have been shut down since January 2012.

The KPCC article adds, "Last month, SCE's parent, Edison International, raised the possibility of retiring the plant if it can't get one reactor running later this year. With questions about whether the plant can restart and who picks up the tab, 'there is a practical limit to how much we can absorb of that risk,' Edison Chairman Ted Craver told Wall Street analysts.

"SCE's news release said that in connection with the decision, SCE estimates that it will record a charge in the second quarter of between $450 million and $650 million before taxes ($300 million-$425 million after taxes), in accordance with accounting requirements."

The article also has a comment from Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth: “This is very good news for the people of Southern California. We have long said that these reactors are too dangerous to operate and now Edison has agreed. The people of California now have the opportunity to move away from the failed promise of dirty and dangerous nuclear power and replace it with the safe and clean energy provided by the sun and the wind."

To read SCE's entire statement about the closing of the nuclear plant, please click here.

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The twin concrete containment structures of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant have long been a familiar sight to those traveling on Interstate 5 just north of San Diego.