Nuclear power plant being upgraded in 2012

Southern California Edison (SCE) on Jan. 9 temporarily removed Unit 2 at its 2,200 MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station from service for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage. During the outage, SCE said it will continue its practice of upgrading plant hardware and systems when it is possible to enhance the safety, reliability or customer cost-effectiveness of the plant.

Plans for the outage, and a similar Unit 3 outage scheduled for the fall of 2012, include replacing the reactor heads of both units and retrofitting the high pressure turbines with new rotating and static components.

“Key San Onofre plant systems and components, originally installed 30 years ago, have been continually upgraded with the newest technologies to ensure safe, reliable operations,” said Chief Nuclear Officer Pete Dietrich.

The new high-pressure turbine components that are scheduled to be installed during 2012 will increase the plant’s efficiency and generating capacity, SCE said. The design and construction of the new reactor heads, including the use of “single forge” manufacturing that features fewer welds, will be even safer, while reducing customer costs by shortening maintenance outages.

The planned upgrades will cost approximately $280 million and the cost impact on customers will be roughly 0.5 percent of total current rates.

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