Officials rejected some fixes to crippled San Onofre nuclear generators


Nuclear Power Option

Back in March of 2011, I posted "Memo: Workers at San Onofre nuclear plant fear retaliation for reporting problems."

In February of this year, I posted "New radioactive waste leak found at nuclear site, and clean-up could be halted by sequestration."

And in a couple of other posts, I've repeated that we should remember to expect the unexpected:

The word “expect” keeps popping up, and that ambiguity is what makes many of us a little wary. That’s because the 9.0 magnitude was also not expected. The combo of a huge quake and a tsunami was not expected. Experts say they don’t expect a quake larger than 7.0 near the San Onofre nuclear plant, nor do they expect one bigger than 7.5 near Diablo Canyon, despite the fact that new fault lines are discovered from time to time, not to mention the proximity to the San Andreas Fault.

This breaking news bulletin from the L.A. Times just landed in my inbox:

A report on the root causes of problems at the San Onofre nuclear plant shows that officials considered making design changes to the plant's new steam generators before they were installed but rejected some fixes in part because they would require further regulatory approvals.

Some of the generators began malfunctioning a year after they were installed, and the nuclear power plant has been shuttered for 14 months. The closure has already cost San Onofre's operators, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, $470 million.

Ratepayers across the region are already shouldering some of those costs and could be on the hook for hefty future repair bills.

For the latest information, go to

So public safety and security got tossed aside because regulation was, you know, an imposition. What a pain! The result? Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bills and putting a whole bunch of us in harm's way.

Ain't nuclear energy grand?