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Congressman Vargas Joins Call For Public Evidentiary Hearing To Restart San Onofre

San Diego Congressman Juan Vargas has joined the chorus to press federal regulators to hold a trial-like hearing before deciding whether the San Onofre nuclear plant is safe to reopen.

San Diego Congressman Juan Vargas weighed in on the one-year anniversary of the plant's shutdown due to equipment problems.

So far, cities like Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Los Angeles have pushed for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold a public evidentiary hearing before it decides if the plant should re-open at a reduced capacity. Newly elected Congressman Vargas said when he was an assemblyman he questioned industry executives under oath during the California's energy crisis. Vargas said that process could be effective for San Onofre as long as those questioning majority owner Southern California Edison executives know what they're talking about.

"Get experts in there," Vargas said. "To ask them true questions: is it really safe do you really have this under control if not why are you firing it up? Makes no sense. The only reason they're doing this is they want to get some money and if it sits vacant for a long time they actually can't recoup their investment."

Federal regulators haven't decided yet whether to hold such a hearing. Meanwhile, Edison has said exhaustive research by its team of global experts demonstrates the safety of what it calls a conservative plan to re-open.

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