San Onofre plant announces mass layoffs

SAN ONOFRE (CNS) – Southern California Edison announced this week it plans
to eliminate about 730 positions at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
beginning in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, saying the plant's staffing
and operating costs are higher than similar facilities.

The reduction will bring the plant's staffing level to about 1,500,
according to Edison.

“This effort was initiated more than two years ago as part of the
larger SONGS Excellence plan to align SCE's processes and staffing levels with
the top performing nuclear operating plants in the industry and its benchmarked
best practices,” according to a statement from the Rosemead-based company.

San Onofre's two active reactors were both shut down in January. One was
shut down for planned repairs while the other was shut down abruptly when on
Jan. 31, a faulty piece of equipment leaked a small amount of radioactive
steam. The leak led to the discovery that many more tubes were wearing out more
quickly than expected.

There are no official scheduled restart dates for the plant, which is
situated near the San Diego-Orange County line.

In announcing its planned staffing reduction, Edison noted that plant's
troubles “require that SCE be prudent with its future spending while SCE and
regulators review the long-term viability of the nuclear plant. The reality is
that the Unit 3 reactor will not be operating for some time.

“Deliberate steps will be taken over the next year to ensure SONGS is
prepared to operate safely and in alignment with SCE's future operating
budgets,” according to the company.

The company is expected to make decisions about the plant's
organizational structure by late October.

Categories: KUSI