Public Comments due 5/16/2013: Stop NRC from lowering San Onofre safety standards

UPDATE 5/17/2013: The public comment period is closed.  However, 

___________________________________________________________

San Onofre may be approved for restart WITHOUT repair or replacement of defective parts.  Deadline for public comments is May 16, 2013 BEFORE 9 pm Pacific Daylight Time.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced plans to approve SoCal Edison’s request to lower San Onofre safety standards and may do so in less than 30 days – removing obstacles to the early restart of the defective San Onofre Unit 2 nuclear reactor.

San Onofre does NOT meet current NRC operating requirements. Both Unit 2 and 3 reactors show decades of wear in critical steam generator tubes after less than two years of operation. Unit 3 leaked radiation in less than one year. Edison said these steam generators would last 40 to 60 years. Instead, thousands of defective tubes needed plugging to avoid radiation leaks — unprecedented in NRC history. See Plugged Tubes Chart and summary of steam generator problems.

NRC Inspector, Greg Werner, said no technology exists to detect operating steam generator radiation leaks until AFTER they occur. Therefore, we will be part of a nuclear experiment.

The NRC ignored Senator Barbara Boxer’s and Rep. Ed Markey’s request to complete the safety investigation before taking action that could lead to restart. Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement:

“The NRC staff proposal, which could pave the way for the restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant before the investigations of the crippled plant are completed, is dangerous and premature. It makes absolutely no sense to even consider taking any steps to reopen San Onofre until these investigations look at every aspect of reopening the plant given the failure of the tubes that carry radioactive water. In addition, the damaged plant is located in an area at risk of earthquake and tsunami. With eight million people living within 50 miles of this plant, the staff proposal is beyond irresponsible.”

To meet NRC’s structural integrity standard, San Onofre must be able to operate at 100% Rated Thermal Power for two years before it is considered safe to operate. Now the NRC plans to approve Edison’s license amendment request to lower this to 70% thermal power during Cycle 17. If approved, it would make it easier for Edison to restart their defective Unit 2 nuclear reactor.

On May 13th, the Federal Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) ruled that Edison’s restart plan is experimental and they must grant Friends of the Earth’s petition asking the NRC to require Edison to undergo a trial-like license amendment process before a judge, which includes public hearings, sworn testimony from expert witnesses and rules of evidence. However, this ruling does not affect this 70% power license amendment request. Also, the NRC Commissioners can overrule the ASLB decision.

URGENT: Please submit your public comments to the NRC before 9:00 pm (PDT) May 16, 2013.

Tell the NRC:

    • Reject Edison’s request to lower San Onofre safety standards to 70% thermal power.
    • Do not lower safety standards that make it easier to restart defective nuclear reactors.
    • Support Friends of the Earth’s petition to require a thorough license amendment process and hearing on San Onofre safety issues.

Contact your local, state and Congressional representatives. Urge them to submit similar comments to the NRC. Find your state and Congressional representatives at: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_r.htm.

Share this information via email or print Handout. Share this video from nuclear expert, Arnie Gundersen, explaining why San Onofre should not be restarted with severely defective steam generators.

About Donna Gilmore

California
This entry was posted in Action Alert, Friends of the Earth, How to Help, NRC, nuclear power, Senator Barbara Boxer, Southern California Edison, Steam Generator, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Public Comments due 5/16/2013: Stop NRC from lowering San Onofre safety standards

  1. I just don’t get it. A thirty percent chance exists that San Onofre can/might/ quite possibly could emit undectable radiation within 50 + miles of the reactor if the damn thing is restarted. Would you like those odds if you were told your new car could kill you before you could react to the accident ? Or your kids would perish ? And you would not have an alarm or be able to reach a repair facility before the car imploded ? For the Grace of God, do not play God and restart this plant unless and until all safety concerns are resolved one hundred percent. Please, who ever you are out there that has control and responsibility for this critical/crucial decision. No restart until all safety issues are resolved one hundred percent !!!

  2. susaninca says:

    All I can say is if you agree to this restart, any lives lost will be on your hands. You are a regulatory agency, do your regulating and do not start this plant. China Syndrome is not a joke, ask Tepco and the Japanese government what has happened over there, if they will be honest with you. After all, they endangered their citizens too.

  3. susaninca says:

    All I can say is if you reopen that plant, any catastrophe that happens, the blood will be on your hands. The China Syndrome might have been a movie but what could happen is all too real. Ask a Japanese citizen from Fukushima Prefecture how they feel about accidents with nuclear plants. I am sure they won’t talk for fear of government retribution but before you open this plant, take a field trip to University Hospital in the area and see what the results were. Or better yet, go over to Japan and spend a week or two living near the plant. If you feel so sure San Onofre is no big deal then you won’t mind exposing yourself to radiation from,Fukushima plant. Man up and do what you ask the residents of Orange county to do, park yourself in the danger zone and stay there.
    Susan

  4. MajorTom says:

    For what its worth, I sent an email message to Senator Barbara Boxer this morning and advised her that I have serious concerns about the plan to restart SONGS Units 2 with compromised critical equipment. I also advised Senator Boxer that I do not trust the NRC to act in the best interests of public safety, and I have felt this way for 30+ years. The committee that she chairs actually has oversight over the NRC, and this committee can call the NRC to the carpet when it is deemed necessary to show the public that our leaders in Congress really do care about public safety.

    It is past time for concerned citizens (good people who have remained silent for too long) to rise up and take back our country from the greedy capitalists and bankers before they destroy this planet. Call Barbara Boxer and demand action before it is too late!

    By the way, I do not trust any of the many three-letter government agencies that seem to have become corrupted in recent years. I will be courteous and not list them all here, but there are at least a dozen of these agencies that come to mind without any need for reflection.

    • sueinca says:

      Major Tom
      I actually got a letter from Senator Boxer on this subject. I wish I had saved it, I would post a copy here. If I find it in my email, I will post it but she is fully aware of this problem.

      • MajorTom says:

        Sue,
        I did receive on of those automated replies from Senator Boxer’s office which essentially said the following: Thank you for expressing your concerns. Due to an overwhelming amount of email from California state residents, the Senator may not be able to respond in a timely fashion to people who live outside of California. And, if this issue is of an urgent nature, I should proceed to contact the senator from my own state!

        I suppose that this is ongoing problem with SCE’s crippled nuclear power plants is a difficult political situation for Senator Boxer because the Obama administration has promoted nuclear power, and the administration is already embroiled in a number of scandals with other out-of-control government agencies.

      • MajorTom says:

        Sue,
        I did receive one of those automated replies from Senator Boxer’s office which essentially said the following: Thank you for expressing your concerns. Due to an overwhelming amount of email from California state residents, the Senator may not be able to respond in a timely fashion to people who live outside of California. And, if this issue is of an urgent nature, I should proceed to contact the senator from my own state!

        I suppose that this is ongoing problem with SCE’s crippled nuclear power plants is a difficult political situation for Senator Boxer because the Obama administration has promoted nuclear power, and the administration is already embroiled in a number of scandals with other out-of-control government agencies.

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