A troubled nuclear power plant in southern
California is to be shut down permanently, its owner, Southern
California Edison (SCE), announced Friday.
The San Onofre plant near San Clemente, some 100 kilometres south of Los Angeles, supplied power to some 1.4 million homes, but has been out of service since early 2012 when a fault was discovered in tubes leading to newly installed steam generators.
The plant "has served this region for over 40 years," Ted Craver, chairman of SCE parent Edison International said in a statement. "But we have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if (the plant) might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors or the need to plan for our region's long-term electricity needs."
Friends of the Earth, an advocacy group critical of the nuclear power industry, praised the decision to close it.
"We have long said that these reactors are too dangerous to operate and now Edison has agreed. The people of California now have the opportunity to move away from the failed promise of dirty and dangerous nuclear power and replace it with the safe and clean energy provided by the sun and the wind," the group's president, Erich Pica, said in a statement.
The closure leaves California, the most populous state in the US, with only one nuclear power plant, the Diablo Canyon facility in central California.
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