Sunday, October 14, 2012

Update 10-14-12, SCE’s Replacement Steam Generator $680 Million Debacle

The DAB Safety Team’s - Update 10-14-12,  SCE’s Replacement Steam Generator $680 Million Debacle

1.   If SCE’s and MHI’s Engineers had used all the following guidelines, they would have prevented the
Replacement Steam Generators (RSG’s) catastrophic failures and they would not be in financial trouble with the SONGS Union Workers, the NRC, the Public, the News Media and their Ratepayers:

  • ·       Human Performance Tools, along with the NRC Branch Chief and the World’s Foremost Expert’s sage advice of “read between the lines', ‘use critical questioning & an investigative attitude', 'solid teamwork & alignment, and ‘read the academic papers on eliminating fluid elastic instability and flow-induced vibrations in nuclear power plant components.”
  •  ·       Benchmarked the design details of Palo Verde and other CE RSGs design details in order to eliminate any potential fluid elastic instability and or flow-induced vibrations experienced in the SONGS CE Original Steam Generators (OSGs), so that they would not occur in their new RSG’s.

  2.  SCE should have embraced rather than bypassed the FULL NRC Licensing Amendment Process.

  • ·       SCE “Sweet Talked” the NRC into accepting the results of Inadequate Industry Benchmarking and the Defective 10 CFR 50.59 Evaluation and thus avoided the thorough and lengthy scrutiny of FULL NRC 10 CFR 50.90 Licensing Amendment Process.
  •  ·       Note, the lack of strict oversight by Region IV NRC Staff as required by NRC Reactor Oversight Process, was a critical flaw that enabled the debacle.

WHAT IS NEEDED to prevent the adverse consequence of a Main Steam Line Break outside Containment and the resulting nuclear radiological disaster in Southern California, if SCE’s Degraded Unit 2 is allowed to restart at 70% power for an operations trial period of 5 months as an, “Unapproved Experiment”, as SCE and 3 out of 4 Nuclear Energy Institute Qualified “US Nuclear Plant Designers” are recommending?

1.   Submittal of a NRC 10 CFR 50.90 Licensing Amendment Application for SONGS Unit 2 Restart Plan by SCE.

2.   A thorough review of SONGS Unit 2 Restart Plan Return to Service Report by Region IV NRC Staff, NRC Chairman and Commissioners, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, and independent verification/ by the NRC Offices of Nuclear Reactor Regulations, Nuclear Regulatory Research1 and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

3.   Sworn testimony by all parties responsible for the preparation of SONGS Unit 2 Restart Plan Return to Service Report to insure that public safety and health will not be compromised in case of a nuclear Accident caused by a Design Bases Earthquake/Main Steam Line Break due to multiple tube leaks or ruptures or combination thereof.

4.   Investigation of SONGS Safety Violations and Worker Discrimination, Retaliation, Intimidation and Harassment by an Independent Federal Commission appointed by the President or the Supreme Court of the United States.  This is required to guarantee public acceptance of the results these investigations by the people of Southern California.

5.    Return of the 1.2 Billion Dollars that the ratepayers have “fronted” SCE to date, with interest.

6.    A Financial Bond Guarantee by Southern California Edison to cover the Financial Ruin of Southern California’s economy in case of any nuclear Incident/Accident.

1Dr. Joram Hopenfeld, a retired engineer from the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, sharply criticized NRC officials for downplaying the dangers of degraded steam tubes in  December 1999, three months before the Indian Point accident, and said, “To be credible, risk-informed regulation mandates statistically valid and scrutable data, competent insights of accident scenarios and their consequences, and of accident prevention strategies, as well as meaningful public involvement. In reality, the staff examines accident scenarios and their consequences in a superficial manner; accident prevention is apparently dictated primarily by financial considerations, and the public is being excluded from meaningful participation in the NRC deliberation process’, ‘The nuclear industry and the NRC have a poor track record of controlling steam generator tube degradation.” The NRC's Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) issued a report in February 2001 and substantiated many of Dr. Hopenfeld's concerns.

Copyright October 14, 2012 by The DAB Safety Team. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without crediting the DAB Safety Team.


  1. CPUC readies probe of San Onofre, its costs
    -by Morgan Lee
    State utility regulators are preparing a possible investigation in to whether Southern California utilities can continue to bill customers for a nuclear plant that has not produced electricity for nearly nine months.

    The San Francisco-based California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday published a draft investigation order regarding the idled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. It will take up the matter at a public meeting Oct. 25 in Irvine.

    Under the proposed investigation order, regulators would consider whether or not a utility rate reduction should be made and, if so, when and to what extent.

    Customers of San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison are paying about $835 million a year for the operation, maintenance and capital costs at San Onofre.

  2. Here is the link for the CPUC Draft Report:


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