Nuclear Regulatory Commission denies request by environmental group

SAN ONOFRE – Environmentalists who tried to get the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue a stay to prevent a restart of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station said today their motion was denied.

However, the Friends of the Earth’s request for a stay, and to have plant operator Southern California Edison go through a licensing amendment process for new steam generators, will be reviewed by NRC staff and the agency’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. The five-member, presidentially appointed panel made the decision in Rockville, Md.

The FOE contends the license granted to Edison should have been amended when new steam generators were installed two years ago since they were of a different design than what was in the original permit.

A leak in one of the reactors at the end of January led to the shutdown of the nuclear plant on the northern San Diego County coastline. The other reactor was already offline for maintenance.

An investigation found an unusual amount of wear in many of the thousands of steam tubes in the plant’s generating systems. SCE has been conducting tests on the two units at San Onofre.

The environmental group has been fighting for months to keep the reactors from being restarted. The utility and NRC have both said there will be no restart until the plant is deemed to be safe.

The California Public Utilities Commission is also investigating the nuclear plant, including the issue of whether ratepayers should receive refunds for the time it has been out of service. San Diego Gas & Electric owns one- fifth of the facility and receives 20 percent of its power.


Nuclear Regulatory Commission to consider demand by environmental group to keep San Onofre inoperative until license is amended

SAN ONOFRE – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was scheduled to meet on the East Coast today to consider a demand by an environmental group to keep the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station inoperative until its license is amended.

The group Friends of the Earth contends the license granted to plant operator Southern California Edison should have been amended when new steam generators were installed two years ago since they were of a different design than what was in the original permit.

A leak in one of the reactors at the end of January led to the nuclear plant on the northern San Diego County coastline being shut down. The other reactor was already offline for maintenance.

An investigation found an unusual amount of wear in many of the thousands of steam tubes in the plant’s generating systems. SCE has been conducting tests on the two units at San Onofre.

The environmental group has been fighting for months to keep the reactors from restarting. The utility and NRC have both said there will be no restart until the plant is deemed to be safe.

Today’s meeting starts at 6 a.m. Pacific Time and is being held at a hotel in Rockville, Md., where the presidentially appointed five-member commission is based and typically meets. The meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast over the Internet at nrc.gov.

FOE plans to ask the commission for a stay, which would keep the plant shut down until SCE’s operating permit is amended. That wouldn’t happen until after a public hearing takes place that includes expert testimony.

The California Public Utilities Commission is also investigating the nuclear plant, including the issue of whether ratepayers should receive refunds for the time it has been out of service. San Diego Gas & Electric owns one- fifth of the facility and receives 20 percent of its power.

SCE did not immediately respond to a message asking for comment.

5 Responses to "Nuclear Regulatory Commission denies request by environmental group"

  1. Bill Hawkins   November 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    PENDING NEWS RELEASE: The DAB Safety Team

    San Onfre Latest Problem with Incomplete Unit 2 Inspections

    The original Combustion Engineering steam generators (OSGs) for San Onofre Units 2 and 3 were supposed to last for forty years, the design life of the reactors. At Edison

    Reply
  2. gme   November 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I think it’s going to take legal action by environmental groups to force the closure of a plant that should never have been built in an earthquake zone in the first place. Remember Japan, NRC!

    Reply
  3. Just the facts   November 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Hey Bill,
    What is the DAB safety team? Who is on the team and what are their credentials? Has this group actually been given access to test the equipment at SONGS that they are reporting on here or is this speculation?

    Reply
  4. really?   November 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    That dangerous, unstable and terrifying plant provides 20% of our power? One fifth. There was a t-shirt in the 60’s when the beginnings of this nuclear insanity began:

    If you don’t want Nukes, turn them OFF. The switch is on your wall.

    It’s still on your wall. Every family in CA could cut back 1/5th of their power usage–or more-with really very little inconvenience. And then we could all sleep better while Sun and Wind and Water sources of power are developed.

    Reply
  5. Bill Hawkins   November 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE
    DAB Safety Team
    Media Contact: Don Leichtlin (619) 296-9928 or Ace Hoffman (760) 720-7261

    Don Leichtling and Ace Hoffman are the spokesmen of the DAB Safety Team, who along with the support of an ever-growing number of SONGS Concerned Insiders and Whistleblowers have prepared the following analysis.

    Subject: SONGS Unit 2 RSG

    Reply

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