Timeline: Shutdown of San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

A look at the key events, meetings and reports involving the shut down of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Station located between San Diego and Los Angeles along the Pacific Ocean.

Nov. 1, 2011 - An ammonia leak in the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station prompted the station to evacuate its employees and activated the County of San Diego’s Operational Area Emergency Operations Center. Three hours after the alert, San Onofre reported that the leak was contained and cleaned up.

Jan. 9, 2012 – Unit 2 was taken offline for a scheduled refueling.

Jan. 31, 2012 – A potential leak in a “steam generator tube” prompted a precautionary shutdown of Unit 3 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The small water leak will require a simple repair, maintenance workers said the morning after.

Feb. 2, 2012 – Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spokesperson Victor Dricks said unusual wear was found on dozens of virtually new tubes that carry radioactive water at Southern California's San Onofre Unit 2. The damage is considered unusual for virtually new tubing.

March 19, 2012 – An NRC inspection team looks into what may be leading to the tube wear.

March 27, 2012 – NRC tells Southern California Edison that SONGS will not be allowed to restart operations until the problem is understood and fixed.

April 6, 2012 – NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko toured the plant with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. The tour included a first-hand look at the facility's sea wall.

April 12, 2012 - For the first time, Southern California Edison showed up to take part in a discussion on safety concerns over the San Onofre Nuclear Power plant. Community Outreach Manager for the plant, Christopher Able, spoke at the Solana Beach City Council meeting. Watch video

April 30, 2012 - While utilities worked with customers to prepare for possible blackouts in the summer heat, protesters rallied demanding the reactor never be restarted.

May 8, 2012 – Southern California Edison says more than 1,300 damaged tubes in the station’s ailing steam generators will be taken out of service.

June 18, 2012 - Federal regulators have found that design flaws appear to be the cause of excessive wear in tubing that carries radioactive water at San Onofre.

Also, SCE announced SONGS will remain closed until its crews can figure out how to fix the plant's tubing flaws.

July 19, 2012 - The National Regulatory Commission submitted its report stating the plant’s operators acted in accordance with safety procedures during January’s leak.

July 30, 2012 - Documents show SCE informed the Public Utilities Commission that Unit 2 reactor could possibly be back in service by Nov. 18, and its sister Unit 3 by Dec. 31.

Aug. 2, 2012 – PUC postpones voting on an order requiring owners SCE and San Diego Gas & Electric to disclose the potential economic hit for ratepayers from the long-running shutdown.

Aug. 20, 2012 - San Onofre’s nuclear power plant will cut 730 employees from its workforce effective in October.

Aug. 27, 2012 – Plant plans to pull the radioactive fuel from one of its two shuttered reactors in mid-September per AP report.

Oct. 5, 2012 - SCE asks NRC to turn on Unit 2 but only operating with a limit of 70 percent power.

Oct. 9, 2012 – NRC holds a public town hall meeting on San Onofre in Dana Point, Calif. NRC officials decided SONGS will be offline until 2013. They said the agency has "several months" of work ahead before a decision is reached on the plant's future.

Nov. 1, 2012 – The CPUC begins a formal investigation of San Onofre costs.

Nov. 30, 2012 – SCE holds a public meeting in Laguna Hills, Calif. More than 800 members of the public are in attendance and dozens participate in the public comment and question and answer session.

Jan. 14, 2013 - NRC chair Allison Macfarlane toured the plant and later told reporters she's "concerned about the situation." Meanwhile NRC inspector said the agency was beginning to prepare a detailed plan of what would need to be done to bring the plant safely back to service.

Feb. 6 - California Sen. Barbara Boxer pressed federal regulators to open an investigation into equipment problems at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Feb. 12 – NRC holds a public meeting in Capistrano Beach, Calif. More than 1,000 members of the public are in attendance, and dozens participate in the public comment and question and answer session.

Also, federal regulators disclosed they were considering changing requirements set last year to restart the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Feb. 21 – CPUC holds a public hearing on San Onofre costs during which the public attends and dozens offer comments and testimony.

April 1 – SCE submitted a tentative request to the NRC, technically known as a license amendment, that if approved would cap Unit 2's capacity at 70 percent, down from the now-required 100 percent.

May 28 – Sen. Boxer wants the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Southern California Edison and its statements to federal regulators about swapping out generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.


Contact Us