SDG&E, power distributor to assess energy availability - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SDG&E, power distributor to assess energy availability

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Gas & Electric and the agency that oversees the distribution of power in California are scheduled Thursday to provide an outlook on energy availability for the upcoming summer months.

In announcing the event, the utility and California Independent System Operator said enough power was lined up for the summer, but conservation will still be vital during extremely hot weather, any unplanned power plant outage, or a transmission line breakdown.

The wildcard is the impact of the ongoing shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and whether it will put a strain on overall energy supplies around the state.

The nuclear plant near the Orange County line has been shut down since a leak was detected in a tube in Unit 3 on Jan. 31. The problem resulted in a minor venting of radioactive gas, according to Southern California Edison officials, who reported that the release was detectable only on sensors in an adjacent building and posed no hazard to plant workers or the public.

Unit 2 was taken down for planned maintenance Jan. 9 and remains off-line.

The company expects to deliver a plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of July regarding the operation of the plant's Unit 2, Edison International Chairman and CEO Ted Craver said. He said the commission, which must approve the restart of Unit 2, will then need time to respond.

A plan for Unit 3 is expected to take longer to develop, Craver said. Unit 1 was permanently shut down in 1992.

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