California nuclear plant remains shutdown

The future of a California nuclear plant in San Onofre remains unclear following the facility’s shutdown early last year as a result of damage to one of the plant’s generators.


Located near San Diego, the California nuclear plant was responsible for providing about 8% of electricity in the entire state.


Southern California Edison (SCE), the owner of the California nuclear plant, has had to ramp up electric generation from coal and natural gas combustion plants to make up for the lost supply.


However SCE is facing new regulations this year that require the accounting of annual carbon emissions that result from its operations.


Since nuclear power generation does not create any carbon emissions, SCE’s reliance on fossil-fuel generation will push them closer to the state’s mandatory compliance cap.


Although SCE officials have proposed resuming limited operations by early summer, it is likely that the entire unit will remain offline, presenting the possibility of rolling blackouts during this summer’s peak energy consumption period.