- Church of England allows female bishops
- Obama slammed by black Chicago residents: ‘Worst president ever’
- WHO urges healthy gay men to take HIV prevention drugs, cites ‘exploding epidemics’
- Ukraine: Military plane shot down by rocket
- Ebola crisis in West Africa deepens; 500+ dead
- Propaganda song popular among Central Americans was devised by U.S. Border Patrol
- Sen. Rob Portman: Math is on GOP’s side to win Senate this fall
- Four-time deportee arrested for molesting 9-year-old Texas girl
- Private investigators turn to drones to catch marital cheaters, insurance liars
- Sleep issues can accelerate Alzheimer’s, while mental exercises can delay it, study shows
Troubled Calif. nuke plant inches toward restart
Question of the Day
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. (AP) - After a year of gathering dust and negative headlines, the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant shows stirrings toward a possible restart, though big barriers remain, officials said.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission senior inspector Greg Warnick said the agency is beginning to prepare a detailed plan of what would need to be done to bring San Onofre safely back to service.
The seaside plant between San Diego and Los Angeles hasn’t produced electricity since a tiny radiation leak led to the discovery of excessive wear on hundreds of steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water in January 2012.
Workers for Southern California Edison are visiting other plants this week to become familiar with working conditions after a year with San Onofre on the sidelines.
“The equipment isn’t used to operating at power, but the people aren’t used to it either,” Warnick said Monday.
The trouble at San Onofre centers on steam generators that were installed during a $670 million overhaul in 2009 and 2010. After the plant was shut down, tests found some generator tubes were so badly worn that they could fail and possibly release radiation, a stunning finding inside nearly new equipment.
In effect, what was intended to be an upgrade that would extend the plant’s operating life for years could instead cut it short _ or even end it.
Macfarlane, who is not directly involved in the restart decision, promised a thorough review of Edison’s proposal. She defended the agency against criticism that it was silencing the public in the review.
She said no decision would be made to restart the plant until “we are sure they can operate safely.”
As Edison waits for a decision on a restart, the plant faces a host of lingering issues. The future of the heavily damaged Unit 3 reactor is not known _ its nuclear fuel has been removed. Environmental groups are challenging various aspects of Edison’s plans.
It’s also not known if the damaged generators can be repaired and operated at full power.
“I don’t know where that’s going,” said NRC Deputy Regional Administrator Art Howell, who heads the agency team overseeing San Onofre.
Friends of the Earth, a group critical of the nuclear power industry, is among several environmental organizations pushing the NRC to require Edison to seek an amendment to its operating license to restart the plant, a process that would involve court-like hearings and could take up to two years.
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formerly a U.S. captive
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- EDITORIAL: The faux farmer in the Senate race in Iowa
- Sen. John McCain on illegal child immigrants: Fly them home, now
- Agency scrubs Malia Obama photos at White House's request: report
- Eric Holder: 'Racial animus' fuels opposition to Obama and me
- Rand Paul to Rick Perry on Iraq: Get some new glasses
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs