Irvine Council pushes Edison to reveal non-nuclear summer electricity plan
Irvine, Calif. — The heat is on Southern California Edison tonight as it presents its energy efficiency plans to Irvine City Council — one day after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair shot down Edison’s talk of an early restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
On Monday, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko issued a strongly worded statement that called talk of restarting San Onofre’s damaged nuclear reactors “clearly premature” because Edison has yet to respond to actions ordered by the nuclear agency in a letter dated March 27.
David Freeman, former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water, and special advisor to Friends of the Earth, said in a statement in advance of the Irvine Council meeting:
“The Edison company would do well to stop threatening blackouts as an excuse for prematurely restarting a dangerous nuclear plant. Blackouts are a failure by a utility to supply reliable service and are not new to Edison’s customers. Blackouts are a concern whether or not San Onofre is operating.
“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a report in April 2012 concerning the regional blackout in southern California on Sept. 8, 2011.
“The report found that the Edison company was partially responsible for that blackout which affected millions.
“FERC found that Edison did not understand that the reactors would shut down when their separation system operated. They also found that Edison had not coordinated its reactor protection and turbine protection systems with its separation system, which is designed to protect the reactors from grid instability.
“We therefore suggest that Edison focus on improving their internal performance and implementing aggressive efficiency measures. They need to cease warning of blackouts and do the work necessary to avoid them.
“They need to identify what is wrong at San Onofre before they make any plans for restart of a nuclear power plant that is ‘unsafe at any speed.’”
Edison executives will go before the City Council at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Kaitlin Froom, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0751
Damon Moglen, Friends of the Earth, 202-222-0708