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NRC Rejects Bid to Halt Restart of San Onofre

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission denies an environmental group's request for a hearing to stay the restart of the nuclear plant generators. However NRC staffers will review Southern California Edison's licensing.

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 by a five-member panel.

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 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 adifferent 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.

- City News Service

george gregory November 09, 2012 at 04:28 PM
gee i hope the NRC is standing closer to songs when it restarts than I as a matter i think they need to live on site
Smokey Bear November 09, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Why don't they harness the power of the sun?! We only live in a place that is sunny 360 days a year! Nuke is so out! Be smart & go solar , no one wants to have that scary plant in operation!
Tricia Rutledge November 09, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Oh? And yet the same people who say "Yes! Make them stop using the plant!" also want the refund for the rate increases due to the higher costs of energy without nuclear power. I'm all for San Onofre being out of commission right now, as unsafe. But why don't we let safety inspectors and educated and concerned officials and advisors make these decisions instead of a bunch of environmentalist interest groups who would rather hold us all as hostages??
San Juan December 18, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Tricia, there are a lot of educated professionals out here who are not affilated with the Enviromentalist Interest Groups. I am one of them and I have "first hand knowledge" of the arrogance of the managers at SONGS and the NRC. Let's shut that site down now and Decommission it. The only cry I hear is from the hundreds of permananent workers who are going to be out of a job instead of the safety of the public, so really who are the hostages?

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