Southern California's embattled San Onofre nuclear plant will be permanently shut down, its operators announced today (June 7).
The facility, which sits on a beachfront stretch between Los Angeles and San Diego, will be the largest to be retired in the United States in the last five decades, the Associated Press reports. Its two reactors had not been in operation since this past January, when a small radioactive leak was discovered, prompting a string of expensive repairs, investigations and political pushback.
According to the AP, the decision was literally cheered by environmentalists. A group apparently celebrated outside San Onofre's front gates today, and the AP quoted bicyclists as yelling "Shut it down!" as they rode past.
The plant was capable of providing power to 1.4 million homes, the AP reports. Its operator, Southern California Edison, hopes to get through the summer without any electricity shortages, "although generation outages, soaring temperatures or wildfires impacting transmission lines would test the system," Ron Litzinger, the company's president, said in a statement.