Fukushima Aftermath/Last Dance for SONGS?

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The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is a nuclear power plant located on the Pacific Ocean|Pacific coast of California. The 84acre} site is in the northwestern corner of San Diego County, California|San Diego County, south of San Clemente, California|San Clemente, and surrounded by the San Onofre State Park and next to the Interstate 5 in California.

Unit 1 is no longer in service and has been dismantled. It is being used as a storage site for spent fuel. It had a spherical containment of concrete and steel with the smallest wall being 6 ft thick. This reactor was a first generation Westinghouse pressurized water reactor that operated for 25 years, closing permanently in 1992. Units 2 and 3, Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors, continue to operate and generate 1,172 Watt#Electrical_and_thermal_watts|MWe and 1,178 MWe respectively.

The July 12, 1982 edition of Time (magazine) states, "The firm Bechtel was further embarrassed in 1977, when it installed a 420-ton nuclear-reactor vessel backwards" at San Onofre.[1]

The plant is operated by Southern California Edison. Edison International, parent of SCE, holds 78.2% ownership in the plant; San Diego Gas & Electric|San Diego Gas & Electric Company, 20%; and the Riverside, California|City of Riverside Utilities Department, 1.8%. The plant employs over 2000 people.

The plant is located in Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region IV.

Surrounding population[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10|mi, concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 mi, concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[2]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 mi of San Onofre was 92,687, an increase of 50.0 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 mi was 8,460,508, an increase of 14.9 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include San Diego (45 miles to city center).[3]

Environmental mitigation[edit]

Strong, spherical containment buildings around the reactors are designed to prevent unexpected releases of radiation. The closest tectonic fault line is the Cristianitos fault, which is considered inactive. Southern California Edison states the station was "built to withstand a 7.0 magnitude earthquake directly under the plant".[4]

Unlike many pressurized water reactors, but like some other seaside facilities in Southern California, the San Onofre plant uses seawater for cooling, and thus lacks the iconic large cooling towers typically associated with nuclear generating stations. However, changes to water-use regulations may require construction of such cooling towers in the future to avoid further direct use of seawater. Limited available land next to the reactor would likely require the towers to be built on the opposite side of the Interstate 5 highway.[5]

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at San Onofre was 1 in 58,824, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[6][7]

Introduction to the Wikibooks-Wikiversity textbooks[edit]

This Wikibook is the third of an anticipated series on nuclear plants and the second of the series devoted to specific nuclear power plants; the first book pertained to Diablo Canyon (Nuclear) Power Plant in California, offered in conjunction with a Wikiversity course entitled [California Government and Citizen Participation] and the Wikibook of the same name. That course can be generalize or modified to New York State.

Policies of Wikimedia Foundation set the pace[edit]

All policies of Wikibooks and Wikiversity apply and you are invited to read but also to write copy and edit existing copy. If you are reading this online, please familiarize yourself with Wikibooks protocols by clicking on the links to the left. All content herein is subject to the CCL 2 license which means that it is free for re-use with attribution in accordance with the CCL 2 guidelines.

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