Those Tits Need A Break

I had no idea it takes 2 months to refuel a nuclear power plant. I guess it is a good thing that San Onofre Nuclear Power Station has a pair of reactors, otherwise a major SoCal power source would be offline for a good bit of time, although luckily not during the hottest part of summer. In reading this article I also found out that San Onofre actually has 3 power units, I think the boobies are units 2 and 3, the first unit has been retired.

From this NRC page, it appears that it was taken out of commission in ’92 and defueled in ’93. Since 2000 the NRC has been supervising SoCal Edison’s DECON (decontamination) of Unit 1, aka SONGS-1 a Westinghouse 3-loop pressurized water reactor, built in 1968 by the World’s largest privately held engineering firm Bechtel. When I was about 5 years old my pops worked as a contractor for Bechtel and we lived in South Africa for a year while he automated a copper mine.

Anyway back to the NRC page, according to it, SCE plans on leaving all the cooling piping on the ocean floor and return the land to the state, gee thanks. I can’t tell from the report if those pipes in the ocean are radioactive, but I have heard that the surfers love surfing there because the water is nice and warm.

5 Replies to “Those Tits Need A Break”

  1. Every single time I drive by those things I think they look like giant boobs. I’m really glad I’m not the only one that feels this way.

  2. Nuclear reactors typically have a refueling outage every 18 months to 2 years. The industry has been working hard to get outage time down from 2 months to one month or less. The refueling actually doesn’t take that long (probably 20 days) – it is all the other maintenance, repairs, component replacement, and implementation of new safety protections that take up a lot of the time. Outages are almost never planned for the summer due to the high need for power at that time. Usually they occur in the spring or fall. I’ve worked in the nuclear industry (not at San Onofre) over twenty years.

    If you’d like an entertaining lay person’s guide to nuclear power, see my thriller novel “Rad Decision” at http://RadDecision.blogspot.com .
    It is free online to readers – who seem to enjoy it,judging from their homepage comments.

    “I’d like to see Rad Decision widely read.” – Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, internet pioneer and noted futurist.

    RadDecision.blogspot.com

  3. I don’t know that the land returns to the state. Depends on the lease agreement with the state and with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

    All of that land (including the state park) is leased from Camp Pendleton. I’m not aware of whether the San Onofre land is a sub-lease from the state, or a direct lease from the Base.

  4. Hmmm. Well, i’d rather they look like giant boobs than those ominous flared top towers that were frozen into my memory when Three Mile Island burped out all that radiation in 1979. I was living in upstate NY then and remember being very afraid… I was a child, and soon thereafter my mother and I moved to LA.

    Yes, nuke power plants are taken offline regularly, and forgoing a big discussion vis a vis nuclear power (or “nucular” power in our fearless Prez’s stumbling words) I’d just as soon see us develop sustainable, eco-sensitive power sources so they could stay offline. Hmmm… Southern CA is solar power heaven… if we can design a guided missile capable of going down an exhaust vent from a thousand miles away, one would think we could manage to get great amounts of power generation from the sun… AND make it market friendly!

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