2012-07-04. Troubles at a 1960s-Era Nuclear Plant in California May Hint at the Future

posted Jul 19, 2012, 11:46 AM by Lisa Ou
 | by Ian Lovett, The NY Times. An article relevant to GSS Energy Use chapter 4. Excerpt: More than seven million people live within 50 miles of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which is about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. But for decades, residents here largely accepted, if not exactly embraced, the hulking nuclear plant perched on the cliffs above this popular surfing beach as a necessary part of keeping the lights on in a state that uses more electricity than all of Argentina. All that changed, however, after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in Japan last year, followed in January by a small leak of radioactive steam here caused by the deterioration of steam tubes that had been damaged by vibration and friction…The leak has galvanized opposition to the nuclear plant among local residents, who are calling for San Onofre to remain shuttered for good. Antinuclear activists from across the country have seized on problems at San Onofre as an opportunity to push California toward a future without nuclear power…Still, any efforts to permanently close the nuclear plant face the ever-growing appetite for electricity in Southern California. San Onofre, the largest power plant in the region, produced 2,200 megawatts, enough to power 1.4 million homes, and also helps import power to the region…Without any power from San Onofre, a severe heat wave could bring rolling blackouts, but state energy officials said they expected to get through the summer without problems…. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/us/san-onofre-could-hint-at-a-non-nuclear-future.html