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NRC Raises Doubts About SONGS Fuel Canister

22 Oct

Federal nuclear power safety regulators criticized Southern California Edison in an Oct. 19 inspection report for almost dropping a canister loaded with nuclear fuel on Aug. 6 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Regulators called the incident a “near miss.” The canister loaded with radioactive fuel got hung up on a gusset when it […]

Undercurrents

22 May

A modeling tool aimed at helping optimize where to install electric vehicle chargers, the type—level one or two charges—and how many was the focus of a May 22 workshop at the California Energy Commission. The developing model’s focus is to understand the EV market to increase the efficient use of public investments in chargers. “We […]

The Buzz

19 Apr

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agrees to rules increasing transparency on above market payments grid operators make to uneconomic resources, and getting interconnection agreements in gear. They also open the door to input on their problematic natural gas pipeline permitting process. In addition to shining a light on “uplift” payments for resources that can’t recover […]

The Buzz

23 Mar

The grid operator’s board adopted big time reforms to increase gas power plant generator revenues and curb speculation in the transmission congestion market. Pacific Gas & Electric was chastised for balking at complying with the CPUC’s order to sign contracts for biomass projects to help reduce the huge number of dead trees. Biomass got  a […]

Undercurrents

12 Feb

President Trump’s proposed $30.6 billion 2019 budget for the Department of Energy would cut annual funding for energy-related programs at the agency by $1.9 billion to $2.5 billion. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said the proposal “decimates our nation’s investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, which will increase energy costs for consumers, undermine clean […]

The Buzz

29 Sep

A future as predictable as a Ouiji board was a central theme at the Independent Energy Producer’s annual meeting this week amid mounting uncertainty from the changing role of utilities and the scarcity of contracts for generators. Speaking of contracts, and lack of them, utility regulators this week nixed a deal between Southern California Edison […]

Undercurrents: Long-term Nuclear Waste Disposal Remains Stalled

26 Sep

State and local representatives pressed for federal solutions to the problem of mounting radioactive waste at nuclear power plants, including the closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, during a House Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, & Environment Sept. 26. David Victor, chair of the SONGS Community Engagement Panel, told the […]

The Buzz

31 Aug

A week that began with record heat and a near record demand for power ends even hotter with a forecast of a new all-time record peak demand for electricity in California. The grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E calls for flashlights. Decentralized solar energy coupled with storage and smart controls can lower the cost of […]

Undercurrents: SONGS Onsite Waste Suit Settled

30 Aug

A settlement of the lawsuit over expanding onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Station was reached Aug. 28. “A cooperative effort between the public, independent experts and Southern California Edison has begun and will continue until the nuclear waste is removed from San Diego,” said attorney Michael Aguirre, representing plaintiff […]

Juice: While We Were Gone

21 Aug

No big breaking energy news occurred during our brief summer hiatus, but there were notable energy-related developments, including the release of cost estimates of using alternative clean energy resources in place of the Puente gas power project, a restart of the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump license proceeding, and a push by Southern […]

Undercurrents: Nuclear Waste Gains Focus

1 Jun

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reactivated the Yucca Mountain radioactive dump licensing process May 31, angering many. “Restarting the licensing process for Yucca Mountain would reach new heights of scientific irresponsibility,” said U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). He pointed to the two fault lines at the Nevada site, noting hundreds of nearby earthquakes over the last […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Resorts to Ex Parte Tactics on Diablo Decommissioning Decision

10 May

Pacific Gas & Electric will meet next Monday, May 15, in commissioners’ offices at the California Public Utilities Commission to lobby against an administrative law judge’s proposed decision to grant it $2.3 billion of ratepayer money for decommissioning its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The decision cut the utility’s original request by $1.5 billion. Matt […]

Controversial Yucca Mountain Bill Gets Another Airing

26 Apr

During a hearing on federal legislation seeking to restart the effort to create a permanent radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, troubling issues were raised. During an April 26 House Energy & Commerce Environment Subcommittee hearing, concerns were aired over provisions sidelining state rights and tying the fate of a long-term repository with an […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]

Undercurrents: Possible Settlement on Nuke Waste

12 Apr

In a move that grabbed headlines in Southern California but may not amount to much, a group agreed April 7 to settle a suit to block Southern California Edison from expanding nuclear waste dry cask storage facilities at its closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. With the lack of any long-term repository for spent […]

SHORTS

31 Jan

California’s snow pack is “very robust,” Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, reported Feb. 2. The Department of Water Resources measured a snow water equivalence of 28.1 inches at the Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada, far surpassing 6 inches found on Jan. 3.  After taking measurements at 101 stations, DWR […]

JUICE: Nuclear Waste Dump Revival

3 Nov

  Last Saturday, a Native American chief drove a stake into the ground as a symbol of protest against continuing to store radioactive nuclear waste onsite at the closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County. (more…)

Assembly Utilities Committee Passes Nuclear Storage, Tariff Bills

16 Jun

A state Senate joint resolution urging the “prompt and safe” relocation of spent nuclear fuel from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station to an unidentified interim consolidated storage facility was passed unanimously by the Assembly’s Utilities & Commerce Committee June 15. (more…)

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Radioactive Waste Storage at Nuclear Power Plants

9 Jun

The District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit June 3 denied a group of states’ call to reject the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rule allowing continued onsite storage of radioactive waste at nuclear power plants. (more…)

SONGS $4.4 B Decommissioning Cost Estimate Delayed by CPUC

7 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission is proposing to deem as “reasonable” Southern California Edison’s $4.4 billion estimate to decommission the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station over the next 35 years. Edison, operator and majority owner, and San Diego Gas & Electric, have collected from ratepayers $3.37 billion in their decommission trusts for the SONGS […]