Southern California Edison will lay off 600 nonunion employees at the
San Onofre nuclear power plant starting in about two months, the utility
The layoffs, a result of Edison's decision to close the plant permanently, are the first round of 1,100 layoffs expected from its 1,500-member workforce.
By next year, that will leave 400 to work at the plant as it is being decommissioned, a process that could take many years.
"The premature shutdown of San Onofre is very unfortunate," Pete Dietrich, Edison's senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, was quoted as saying in the company's statement. "We have an extraordinary team of men and women. We appreciate their years of dedicated service and will continue to extend to them the utmost respect and consideration."
The statement also said Edison would work with two unions, the Utility Workers Union of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, "through the collective bargaining process on transition plans for the union employees affected by the shutdown."
Edison announced June 7 that the seaside nuclear power plant would be closed permanently, citing mounting costs and regulatory uncertainty surrounding its proposed restart of one of two idled reactors.
The reactors had been offline since January 2012, when the Unit 3 reactor was shut down after a small leak of radioactive gas. The Unit 2 reactor had been shut down earlier that month for routine maintenance.
Inspections revealed unexpected wear among thousands of metal tubes that carry radioactive water in each of the plant's four steam generators, two for each reactor.
The wear was traced to design flaws in the generators, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan and installed in a $671 million operation between 2009 and early 2011.
The California Public Utilities Commission, conducting its own investigation of the problems at the plant, must decide whether to reimburse ratepayers for the costs associated with San Onofre.
The commission previously said a decision could come in July, though it could take longer. The agency has provided no updates on a timeframe for a decision since Edison announced the closure.
(c)2013 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Visit The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) at www.ocregister.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Most Popular Stories
- Chinese May Have Spotted Malaysia Airlines Debris
- First-time Jobless Claims Drop Unexpectedly
- Why Buffett Bets Big on Green Energy
- Banks Buying Little From Minority Firms: Study
- Several Texas Cities Top Job Search List
- 3 Shot Dead in Venezuela Unrest
- Better Pay Means Bigger Profits: Strategist
- U.S. Business Inventories Up, Retail Sales Down
- 'Candy Crush' Maker Files IPO
- G7 Presses Russia to Pull Troops Out of Crimea