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California prepares for another summer without nuke plant

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POSTED September 13, 2012 8:15 p.m.

FOLSOM,   (AP) — The agency that operates California's power grid said Thursday it will take steps to prepare for another summer without power generation from the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant, signaling the facility may not be operational any time soon.

The California Independent System Operator's board of governors was briefed Thursday on the power grid needs in areas served by the plant, spokesman Steven Greenlee said.

The board approved a recommendation by experts to convert two power units in Huntington Beach into condensers that provide voltage support typically provided by the San Onofre plant.

The San Onofre plant has been closed since January because of excessive wear to tubes that carry radioactive water.

A three-month federal probe blamed a botched computer analysis for generator design flaws that ultimately resulted in heavy wear to the alloy tubing.

The plant, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, is co-owned by San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. The plant serves southern Orange and San Diego counties.

Edison has said necessary repairs and strict California environmental and regulatory standards have increased the cost of delivering electricity. Edison cut 730 jobs at the plant last month.


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