6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

State Braces For Another Year Without San Onofre Nuclear Plant

Support Provided By
san-Onofre-nuke-9-13-12-thumb-600x347-36107

San Onofre nuclear power plant | Photo: Timothy Tolle/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The California Independent System Operator (CaISO) announced today that it's preparing contingencies for the state's power grid in case the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant is still offline next summer. The 2.2-gigawatt nuclear reactor on the San Diego County coast has been offline since January, when maintenance workers found that wear in steam generator tubes had released what operator Southern California Edison called a small amount of radioactive steam into the containment structure. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has barred the plant from reopening until engineers determine the cause of the premature wear in the tubes, which were installed over the last two years.

The loss of more than two gigawatts of generating capacity has strained Southern California's grid, and contributed to a "Flex-Alert," in which utility customers were encouraged to curb their power consumption during peak hours, called during a heat wave in August.

CaISO's response to the San Onofre outage also included switching two gas-fired generating plants back on in Huntington Beach. The two plants, Huntington Beach Units 3 and 4, had been closed down by their owner Edison Mission Energy to allow the company to build a new generator in City of Industry.

Today's announcement by the CaISO suggests that Huntington Beach Units 3 and 4 might best be converted from gas-fired generating plants to "synchronous condensers," large-scale voltage regulators similar to electric motor flywheels that the CaISO hopes will help minimize power fluctuations in the grid.

Another thing that CaISO says may help the state weather the loss of one of its most controversial nukes: adding capacitor banks to Southern California Edison's regional infrastructure to smooth out irregularities in the power supply. It may be that having San Onofre down for a while will help smooth the transition to a more robust regional grid.

ReWire is dedicated to covering renewable energy in California. Keep in touch by liking us on Facebook, and help shape our editorial direction by taking this quick survey here.

Support Provided By
Read More
Students at Manchester Ave. Elementary School have virtual meet and greet with teacher

State Deal Encourages School Reopening by April; but Local Resistance Looms

Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced a multibillion-dollar deal today aimed at enticing schools to resume in-person instruction for young students by April 1, but it's unlikely L.A. Unified will meet that date.
(LEFT) ER nurse Adwoa Blankson-Wood pictured near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, wearing scrubs and a surgical mask; By October, Blankson-Wood was required to don an N-95 mask, protective goggles, a head covering and full PPE to interact with patients.

As A Black Nurse at The Pandemic's Frontlines, I've Had A Close Look at America's Racial Divisions

Most of the time, I was able to frame conversations within the context of the virus and not race, telling patients that we were doing our best, trying to be the heroes they kept calling us. But I was dying inside .... It was easier to find solace in my job, easier to be just a nurse, than to be a Black nurse.
The City of L.A. is staging a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic in Chinatown for senior citizens, in an attempt to improve access to the vaccine among vulnerable populations.

Long-Awaited COVID-19 Vaccine Access Expanding in L.A. County Monday

Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort will expand vastly Monday, but health officials said today those workers will have to be patient as vaccine supplies remain limited and staff are trained to ensure only eligible people receive shots.