ROSEMEAD (CBS) — Southern California Edison sent the following statement responding to inquiries regarding fire protection at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station:
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) established updated regulations in 2004 that require nuclear plants to submit fire protection plans. Pursuant to a course of action approved by the NRC, Southern California Edison’s (SCE) San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) will submit the necessary plan and will meet updated regulations in 2013.
The plan will describe the elements of a new program to enhance the already robust fire protection capabilities at SONGS. Currently, SONGS has its own on-site, full-time professional firefighting personnel, as well as mutual aid agreements with nearby public fire departments. The new plan will ensure that the plant’s fire prevention program meets or exceeds the revised NRC regulatory guidance.
Because these new requirements are being applied to existing plants, the industry has been working with the NRC for several years to establish appropriate implementation protocols, which currently provide for each plant to submit its own, site-specific plan and a proposed basis for inspection.
Both SONGS units of the plant are currently safely shut down for inspections, analysis and tests. Unit 2 was taken out of service Jan. 9 for a planned outage. Unit 3 was safely taken off line Jan. 31 after station operators detected a leak in a steam generator tube.
Nineteen percent of the power SCE customers use comes from nuclear generation. SCE is also working with the California Independent System Operator and San Diego Gas & Electric on power supply contingency plans for this summer should the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station not be fully operational by then.”