NRC and Edison to discuss license amendment request for San Onofre Unit 2

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On April 3rd, 2013, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and representatives from Southern California Edison will meet in Rockville, Maryland to discuss the utility’s plan to submit a license amendment request for the Unit 2 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  The meeting will address the timeline for restarting the generator and the regulatory requirements involved in the process.

The NRC declined to hold this meeting in California, but will make a teleconference line available for members of the public to listen to the review process in action.

Edison had initially attempted to persuade regulators to allow the Unit 2 reactor to restart at 70% power, but concerns were raised after results showed that degradation would cause the steam generators to not meet leak rate limits after only one refueling cycle, even at reduced power.  NRC officials also pointed out that the degradation would increase and accelerate if the reactors were operated at normal power levels.

If San Onofre is allowed to submit a license amendment request, it will be forced to  submit a “No Significant Hazards Consideration” analysis demonstrating that the license amendment does not involve any significant safety risks.

SCE President Ron Litzinger, said in a written statement. “While the NRC continues to review the technical materials we’ve submitted, we’re considering a request for a license amendment so that we can pursue the best path to safe restart while avoiding unnecessary delays.”

In a written release, Friends of the Earth said, “After more than a year of denial, Southern California Edison is ready to concede that a license amendment is needed before restarting one of the crippled reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. But,” added the group, “the utility’s request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would actually be an attempt to get around a rigorous license amendment proceeding with full examination of critical safety issues and public participation.”

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