NRC Investigates Allegations Edison Knew of Safety Problems

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will look into whether Southern California Edison and nuclear component manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries knew in advance of safety problems with San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's steam generators.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the behest of two lawmakers confirmed Friday they would be investigating whether Southern California Edison knew of safety problems with new equipment before they installed them in the embattled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2009-10.

“Today, the NRC confirmed that an expansive investigation is underway into the completeness and accuracy of information that Southern California Edison provided to the NRC related to the replacement of the steam generators," Sen. Barbara Boxer stated in a release.

"The NRC has also confirmed that it is reviewing the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Report to determine whether Southern California Edison fully complied with its legal obligations. This investigation is a critical factor in determining

Boxer called for the investigation, accusing the companies of knowingly committing safety violations at the nuclear plant.

Mitsubishi manufactured the faulty steam generators, components which use radioactive water to boil pure water to turn turbines that make electricity. A January 2012 steam leak shut down the plant and revealed that the steam generators were riddled with faulty heat-exchange tubes.

Southern California Edison denies they were aware of safety problems before the installation, part of a $674 million upgrade project.

The national environmental group Friends of the Earth, leading a coalition of state and local groups, have accused Edison of ducking a license amendment process that would have caught the design flaws in the generators that led to the damage.

A public meeting with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is scheduled for Tuesday in Capistrano Beach to update residents on the progress of deliberations. The NRC is deciding whether it will allow Edison to move forward with its plan to restart half the plant at partial power.

Read hundreds of articles in chronological order about the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station here at our Patch topic page.

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Jay Berman February 09, 2013 at 07:17 PM
rolling blackouts ... right ..... good call ...
Mike F February 09, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Southern California Edison is a company run by Democratics and a state monopoly as is Pacific Gas and Electric among others. SCE failed to provide required oversight of the standards, the manufacture, the shipping, the inspection, and the installation of the replacement generators. It was reported that the unit 3 brackets were not tightened. Pacific Gas and Electric blew up a neighborhood with natural gas for keck of due diligence. California citizens need competition in both energy and water. The Democratics have already said that they are going to eliminate nuclear generated energy in California. California needs clean and safe nuclear generated energy and water for Orange County and San Diego County just inland of San Onofre, and for Imperial County at the Salton Sea. The Democratics say no and have a program to ration both electricity and water. The Democratics look at citizens as the masses - third class.
San Juan February 09, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Rolling blackouts vs public safety...you bet it's a good call. I can't stand B. Boxer. I think Mr. Berman is more worried about his job than that of the areas residents. Howz the spelling? See ya at the meeting oh and it's the outright arrogance of SCE Management at SONGS that allowed this to happen, oh please say it aint so...
Jay Berman February 10, 2013 at 01:11 AM
My job has nothing to do with utilities ... Nuclear energy is the absolute safest form of electric generation. Every one of our aircraft carriers and submarines have 2 reactors .. we have over 100 commercial reactors in this country - never a death unlike coal, natural gas, hydro and others .. The reactors at SONGS have safety features they didn't have a Fukishima .. these reators are fully contained and have multiple core cooling systems .. if all else fails, no electricity ... it has a gravity fed system .. Three mile island was operator errors that cannot happen today because of automation. Chernobyl was a graphite soviet built, uncontained reactor operated by poorly trained people ... You people move to an area near a reactor then complain .. just like people that move next to an airport and complain about noise ... look at the deaths and damage up north when that gas main exploded .. should we ban gas too ??
Jay Berman February 10, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Our entire electric generation and distribution system in this state is a corrupt mess .. We need to get back to the way it was many years ago, where free standing utilities owned the generators and distribution ... they generated enough electricity to serve their region without importing .. they were fully regulated, they made a reasonable profit - our utility bills were reasonable.. Today they "trade" electricity which is a joke, you can't have a market in something you can't store. SDG&E buying electricity from a generator in Utah is garbage, we use the electricity from the closest source. Trading just takes money out of our pockets to line the traders pockets with no benefit to the ratepayer. I'm all for a profit but this is crony capitalism ... We still pay for competition transition that never happened ..


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