At 9:00 a.m. EST on November 8th, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) heard Friends of the Earth’s petition demanding the NRC require Southern California Edison to submit its San Onofre steam generator design to a license amendment process, which would allow for a public hearing with expert testimony regarding the safety of the reactors before an impartial judge.
Friends of the Earth (FOE) also submitted a request for a stay, which would prevent either reactor from being restarted until the license amendment process is complete and until and unless public safety is assured.
Click here to watch video of of their decision on Affirmation Session Southern California Edison Co. (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station), Docket Nos. 50-361 and 50-362-CAL, Petition to Intervene, Request for Hearing, and Stay Application (June 18, 2012).
Click here for link to the Commission’s written order.
Friends of the Earth statement:
After months of delay, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be voting tomorrow morning on a petition Friends of the Earth filed regarding the crippled San Onofre reactors.
If the Commission votes in favor of our petition, the public and independent nuclear experts will be allowed a meaningful role in the decision to restart or repair the damaged reactors at San Onofre. Or the Commission could decide to allow the same entities who caused the problems — San Onofre operator Southern California Edison and NRC Region IV staff — to continue to make these decisions behind closed doors.
You can watch the hearing online tomorrow in real-time, starting at 6 a.m. PST/9 a.m. EST. Click through to get the livestream.
The San Onofre reactors have remained offline since January when a radioactive leak in one of the newly replaced steam generators caused an emergency shut down. Subsequent inspections revealed unprecedented and pervasive wear in both reactors and Friends of the Earth has managed to keep pressure on Edison to keep them shut down.
Restarting the reactors could put 8.4 million Southern Californians at risk from a massive release of radiation in the event of an accident.
That’s why this vote is so important. It will determine if the NRC is committed to openness and transparency or if it’s just business as usual. Join us and watch in real time tomorrow at 6 a.m. PST/9 a.m. EST.
Our petition demanded that the NRC require Edison to submit its steam generator design to a license amendment process, which would allow for a public hearing with expert testimony regarding the safety of the reactors before an impartial judge. We also submitted a request for a stay, which would prevent either reactor from being restarted until the license amendment process is complete and until and unless public safety is assured.
The decision that the NRC Commissioners will make tomorrow will have a significant impact on whether the public will have meaningful role in decisions to restart or repair San Onofre. We’ll be coming back to you with our next steps once the vote takes place.
Nuclear campaigner, Friends of the Earth