San Onofre Nuclear Plant Closing Leaves $500 Million Bill
LOS ANGELES -- The demise of California's San Onofre nuclear power plant began with an attempt to fix it.
A $670 million equipment swap in 2009 and 2010 went haywire, leaving Southern California Edison on Friday with two idle reactors, more than $500 million in bills and a federal decision on a possible restart nowhere in sight.
The company decided to close it, permanently. The announcement triggered a celebration among environmentalists and other critics of the nuclear power industry who argued the plant was too damaged to operate safely.
"There's a huge sense of relief for us," said Laguna Beach Councilwoman Toni Iseman, whose community is about 20 miles up the coast from San Onofre's twin domes. "We were just sitting with a time bomb just to the south of us."
Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, said San Onofre's closing represents an opportunity for California to use more wind, solar and other clean energy. The group waged a long fight to block the restart.