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NRC Weighs Request to Keep San Onofre on Ice

Local and national environmental groups say the nuclear power plant should stay closed until its license is amended.

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 because their design differed from what was in the original permit.

A leak in one of the reactors at the end of January led to the nuclear plant 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. Meanwhile, the environmental group has been fighting to keep the reactors from restarting. The utility and NRC have both said there will be no restart until the plant is deemed safe.

Thursday's meeting starts at 6 a.m. Pacific Time 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 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 from the plant. SCE did not immediately respond to a message asking for comment.

-- From City News Service

FV Resident November 08, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Environmentalists are nutty earth nazis spreading their, usually false, doctrine to please their own nazi-like egos and desire for power. I put them one step below pimps and whores because their arguments are usually based on lies and mis information. Take global warming...the Earth has Always been cyclicle..when I was a kid the big thing in the 50,s was we were entering another ice age...never happened...WHY? it a was simply an earth cycle. it. They care nothing for the truth, only their own agenda. People and economy come first not some stupid bird or insect. Ever stop to think that maybe this is Gods will? Maybe YOU are upsetting the balance. As far as nuclear is concerned any intelligent person knows that the safeguards in place for these places are usually much more than needed...to protect the areas.
LM November 08, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Amen! Environazi's are brainwashed into thinking people are a disease, the big bad boogeyman global warming will destroy everyone in a few years! Vote for bigger govt, we are the only ones who can save you from yourselves!!!
Dr Atom November 09, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Permanently Shut Down San Onofre Nuclear Reactors Radioactive leaks due to rupture of prematurely degraded metal tubing have released an undisclosed amount of radioactivity from Unit 3 of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The same deterioration has been found in unit 2. Leaks like this can lead to massive radiation escape by draining cooling water from the reactor which rapidly causes collapse of containment. This endangers 8.4 million people living within 50 miles. It could close Camp Pendleton, threatening national security. The cause of the premature aging of the metal tubing is not understood. All previous seismic safety models must now called into question. San Onofre's Unit 1 reactor operated from 1968 to 1992 and was closed after 24 years. Units 2 and 3 have been operating for nearly 30 years, since 1982 and 1983, respectively. These aging reactors need to be shut down. NRC's once- or twice-a-year inspections are no longer sufficient to ensure their safety. Any attempts to repair these aged reactors endanger workers known as jumpers who absorb large doses of radiation, sometimes a year’s worth of permissible exposure, in a short-time. Medically, it is not known if this is actually a safe practice. Shut down these aging reactors permanently before the human cost for this power becomes too high http://www.change.org/petitions/nuclear-regulatory-commission-permanently-shut-down-aged-san-onofre-nuclear-reactors
LN Mark November 09, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Fix the corrosion problems and get them back on line. These plants can absolutely be run safely with proper engineering and monitoring. The plants are already built. What a shame it would be to throw that money down the drain as a result of fear mongering and ignorance.

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