Steam generator failures at San Onofre, March 27, 2012
An investigation commissioned by Friends of the Earth discovered that a series of major modifications to the design of replacement steam generators for reactor Unit 2 and Unit 3 at San Onofre was the cause of excessive wear, leaks, and pressure test failures in the generator tubes. These tube failures led the utility running San Onofre, Edison, to shut down the reactors, which were expelling radiation-contaminated steam into the atmosphere.
San Onofre Cascading Steam Generator Failures Created By Edison, April 10, 2012
A report commissioned by Friends of the Earth proves that there are commonalities in the damage to San Onofre reactor Unit 2 and Unit 3, meaning that the decision to restart Unit 2 is not separate from the decision to restart Unit 3. Edison previously told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that, in fact, the damage to Unit 2 and Unit 3 should be analyzed separately, but the common elements in the steam generator design show that both reactors should be assessed concurrently.
Steam generator failures could have been prevented, May 15, 2012
A study of the facts regarding the steam generator failure at San Onofre in January 2012 reveals that the damage could have been prevented. If Edison had been honest with the NRC about the fact that the generators were not like-for-like (meaning they can be replaced or repaired with little effect on their functionality) instead of pretending they were, the NRC would have put more thorough licensing measures in place. These stricter policies would likely have caught the errors before the generators were manufactured.
Using publicly available data from the NRC, a report commissioned by Friends of the Earth compared the steam generators in the San Onofre plant with those in other plants nationwide, and found that the San Onofre generators have needed more repairs and replacements than any other plant in the United States.
A review of the NRC's inspection and subsequent report on San Onofre found that Edison was not in compliance with NRC rules and regulations regarding facility safety. The design, quality, and safety of the steam generators were all not up to par, and the crisis likely was also tied to the lack of meticulous NRC regulatory policies due to Edison's misrepresentation of the generators as like-for-like.