UPDATE 5/17/2013: The public comment period is closed. However,
- Requests for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene can still be filed by June 17, 2013.
- Thousands of comments have been received. Thanks to all those who submitted comments!
- All public comments are not yet posted to government websites. View public comments at:
- http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NRC-2013-0070 or
- NRC’s Adams website. Search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0070. (More comments are currently available on this website than on the www.regulations.gov website.)
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.