Backup power found for offline nuclear power plant

The 450 MW AES Huntington Beach natural gas-fired power plant will help to supply backup power for the 2,150 MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in California.

The AES plant had retired units 3 and 4 in January 2012 at the four-unit plant, then sold them to Edison Mission Energy, a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE: EIX). All four units have been running since mid-May. Edison is also the parent company of Southern California Edison, which operates SONGS.

SONGS has been offline since January 31 because of a radiation leak found in Unit 3 caused by premature wear in tubes inside the generators and is expected to remain offline through August. Unit 2 was taken offline January 9 for routine maintenance but remained shutdown as plant operators continue inspections of the tubes. The NRC said June 19 that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries did not properly test or ship the tubes before installing them at the plant.

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