Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant
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The Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant is a 63 MWe boiling water reactor, owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company that operated from August 1963 to July 1976 just south of Eureka, California. Concern about previously undiscovered seismic faults combined with more stringent requirements required after the Three Mile Island accident rendered the small plant unprofitable if restarted. It was shut down for refueling and seismic upgrades in July 1976, which drug on due to changing requirements. PG&E announced plans to permanently shutter the plant in 1983, and it was then placed in SAFSTOR inactive status in 1988.
In 2004 Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced that three nuclear fuel rods were unaccounted for due to conflicting records of their location. The fuel rods were never accounted for, though PG&E investigators believe that they are still onsite in a storage pool. The investigation is believed to have cost one million dollars.
In December 2008, PG&E finished moving the spent nuclear fuel into dry cask storage on site. The next step is the decommissioning of the plant, planned to begin in 2010 along with the two original fossil-fuel-powered steam-turbine generators on site. The plant began being powered by an array of modern, multi-fuel Wärtsilä reciprocating engine-generators in late 2010. The work to dismantle the older turbine generators and continued dismantling of the nuclear side of the operations is scheduled to finish by April 2013.