Last evening more than 4 million lost power in a major blackout from Arizona to Southern California and down through Mexican Baja. Power was back by four a.m. All the people working through the night succeeded in restoring power in most areas. I admire how they’re dealing with the two things that caused it, human error (a utility worker doing maintenance near Yuma, Arizona, and the system failure of too much stress on the power grid. Experts’ discussions will focus on maintaining and ensuring the integrity of the local power system for the next few days before determining the sequence of events that led to the outage. Next they will work on procedures in order to prevent another huge outage.
Shut down during this time, the twin reactor units at Southern California Edison’s (SCE) San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, near San Clemente, California, are Southern California’s largest and most reliable sources of electricity. Jointly owned by SCE, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the city of Riverside, the units can generate 2,200 megawatts of power, enough to meet the needs of 1.4 million average homes at a point in time. Unlike many pressurized water reactors, but like some other seaside facilities in Southern California, the San Onofre plant uses seawater for cooling. Gil Alexander, a spokesman for Southern California Edison, said the power outage did not cause any safety issues. Alexander said a fluxation in power caused the reactors to shut down at 3:38 p.m. but that the overall plant continues to have power. He said the system worked as it was supposed to during a loss of power.