Costs associated with the long-term shuttering of the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in the North County top out at a more than $300 million, officials of the plant’s operator said.
Inspection and repair costs since the plant’s two reactors were shut down in January totaled $96 million as of Sept. 30, while the costs of replacing the plant’s power have risen to $221 million, according to Southern California Edison.
Edison is the operator and majority owner of the plant, which sits just north of Camp Pendleton near the San Diego-Orange County line.San Diego Gas & Electric owns a 20 percent share and receives one-fifth of its power.
The plant’s two active reactors were taken offline in January. One was shut down Jan. 9 for planned repairs while the other abruptly was shuttered Jan. 31 after a small leak of radioactive steam was detected.
No one was injured by the leak, but subsequent tests found fault with equipment in both reactors.
Edison plans to move a 700,000-pound retired steam generator from the plant by road to a disposal site in Clive, Utah, a trip that will take three weeks.
Company officials said the generator’s radioactivity is extremely low. Someone would have to stand next to the machinery for one hour to receive the same dose of radiation as from a dental X-ray, according to the utility.
Two other retired steam generators already have been sent to the Utah facility.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing an Edison proposal to restart one of the reactors at 70 percent power for a five-month trial period, at which time more inspections would take place to ensure its safety.
There are no immediate plans to restart the second reactor.
On Oct. 25, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to initiate a formal investigation into the long-term outages at the plant. It was unclear how long the investigation might take. As part of the investigation, the commission was expected to consider whether to order a refund to utility customers dating back to Jan. 1.
The $300-million-plus estimate on the costs associated with the plant’s shuttering came out of a third-quarter earnings statement released Thursday by parent company Edison International.