2.28.2015 The weirdness of this story continues to amaze me. These private utilities seem to be nothing more than complicated scams to deliver the wealth of rate payers to an elite at the top of a private utility, quote end quote, that has no risk, only benefits. They can make any mistake, and the rate payers will pay for it with the governments understanding and approval. The CEO of SCE only makes 2.3 or so million a year, so its not as if it is infinite money.
As I dig out more reference material, this post will be updated, and eventually may even be an informative summary of what happened here and who paid for it. Right now, though, its far too loosy goosy with the facts, a situation I hope to remedy, with time.
2/20/2015 I continue to read about how such things as nuclear power plants are financed and indeed it is something of a worst case scenario. Not only are nuclear power plants famous for costing at least twice as much as estimated, indeed they are nearly all paid for by the "rate payers", e.g. you and me, and with government guaranteed credit, at least in part. When you realize that top executives at power utilities refuse all but a token salary, it is a little easier to take. One CEO of an energy utility only makes 9 million $US / year, although I am told that there is also other compensation in various ways that are beyond this modest fee.
In the following discussion, the operators of the plant are referred to by SCE/SDGE which stands for the partnership of Southern California Edison (80%) and San Diego Gas and Electric (20%). There is a third partner with less than 2% ownership. The design and engineering subcontractor was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. NRC stands for Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Boy, were their faces red.
It sounds as if they were either lying about this being a production technology, or that they were incompetent when they designed both the first set and the second set of pipes.
As they always do.
That is where the real money is in America.
1. San Onefre is, or was, a pressurized water reactor. What that means is that one set of pipes contains water at pressure that flows through the reactor spaces and is heated by the heat generated from the nuclear reaction. This hot water at pressure flows through the pipes to pass next to other pipes which also contain water at pressure and heat is transferred from the first set to the second. No water is actually transferred, just the heat. The heat in the water of the second set of pipes has not been directly irradiated and therefore is not radioactive and this is the water that drives the steam turbines that actually generate the electricity. You do not want the water from the first set of pipes to leak because that water is radioactive.