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Edison blames Mitsubishi for San Onofre nuclear plant closure

A public workshop Tuesday about safety and the storage of radioactive nuclear waste at the closed San Onofre nuclear plant is not as public as some activists would like it to be. (Photo: The sun sets behind the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego County).
Ed Joyce/KPCC
Southern California Edison says it is seeking to hold Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems liable for defective steam generators that forced the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. (Photo:The sun sets behind the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego County).

Southern California Edison (SCE) said it is seeking to hold Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems liable for defective steam generators that forced the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
    
The utility said in a statement Thursday that Mitsubishi should be accountable for designing and manufacturing replacement steam generators that were supposed to operate for 20 years but leaked radioactive coolant after less than a year of operation.

"Facing continued uncertainty about restoring SONGS to service at any level of power, SCE permanently retired the plant as of June 2013," according to the company statement. "SCE alleges that Mitsubishi, as designer and manufacturer of the faulty RSGs, is responsible for the enormous harm its failures have caused to California ratepayers, SCE, and the other SONGS owners."
    
The $670 million steam generators were supposed to extend the life of the twin-reactor plant on the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, but the leak and discovery of excessive wear in the equipment force the utility to take it offline in January 2012. Southern California Edison subsequently announced the plant is being permanently closed.