The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting tomorrow in Dana Point to seek input on the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Elmo Collins, the regional administrator for the NRC, told reporters today that the agency ``has several months of work ahead of it before any decision can be made'' on reopening the power plant south of San Clemente.
``The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will not grant approval for the resumption of power operation unless we have confidence that the facility can be operated safely,'' Collins said.
Southern California Edison, which runs the Northern San Diego County plant and co-owns it with San Diego Gas & Electric and the city of Riverside, submitted a plan to the NRC last week, proposing to restart Unit 2 at 70 percent power for a trial period of five months, followed by more inspections. The plant then would be shut down again for more inspections.
``We have full confidence in our restart plan,'' said Edison spokeswoman Jennifer Manfre, who added the utility has no control over how long it will take for the NRC to make a decision on reopening the plant.
Tuesday's meeting in Dana Point will include Collins, San Onofre Chief Nuclear Officer Pete Dietrich, Robert Oglesby and Ed Randolph of the California Public Utilities Commission, as well as several area residents and nuclear energy activists.
``We have a panel that reflects the diverse interests of Californians who have expressed interest in the safe operation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station,'' Collins said.
``The facilitated panel discussions will provide an opportunity to allow these representatives to express their thoughts and opinions on a variety of issues,'' he said. ``This will be followed by a facilitated question-and-answer session that will also provide an opportunity for members of the public to share their views on issues of pressing concern.''
The plant's power generators -- called Unit 2 and Unit 3 -- were deactivated in January. Unit 2 was taken off-line for planned maintenance, while Unit 3 was abruptly shut down after a leak was detected in one of its steam generator tubes.
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Should authorities reopen the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station?
- City News Service