Mitsubishi Report Not On Agenda At NRC Meeting On San Onofre

Monday, February 11, 2013
By Alison St John
Credit: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Above: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds a public meeting this week to go over a proposal to restart the San Onofre nuclear power plant. A report suggesting the operator knew about problems with faulty steam generators before they were installed will not be on the agenda.

The NRC said Tuesday night’s meeting will be an update on the status of its review of Edison’s plan to restart San Onofre’s Unit 2 at 70 percent power.

A letter from California Senator Boxer to NRC Chair, Allison Macfarlane, has raised questions about whether Edison avoided going though a rigorous hearing before installing the new steam generators, even though the company knew there were potential problems.

The NRC said it will not be tackling this issue, raised in a Mitsubishi report, at the meeting.

But Gary Headrick of San Clement Green, a group opposed to restarting the plant, said it's very relevant.

“We will be talking about our core message, which is to get an independent, trial-like hearing so that we can get to the bottom of questions regarding the safety of the restart,“ he said. “So the letter from Boxer really reinforces the need for that.”

Boxer issued a statement Friday acknowledging the NRC has agreed to review the Mitsubishi Report.

”This investigation is a critical factor in determining whether it is safe to restart the San Onofre’s reactors,” Boxer stated.

Meanwhile California’s Independent System Operator, responsible for keeping the lights on in California, said it is already planning for another summer without San Onofre.