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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  1. Edison’s Duplicity Knows No Bounds !

    Edison created this problem when they redesigned the new generators cramming more tubes into the same envelope and eliminating key components that provided vibration control. Edison deceived the NRC telling the NRC this was a ” like for like” generator–which it certainly was not. Thanks to many activists including Senator Boxer, and Friends of The Earth —-Edison has been exposed.

    It would appear that Ron Litzinger has an early on set of Alzheimer, or is it just convent ” Alternative Universe “.

  2. Well, I certainly would claim any innocence on the part of the NRC, either. It seems the nuclear regulatory bodies here in the states were the model for the manner of just about all government regulatory groups that our ‘free market’ mentality since the 80s has given us, making them, in essence, advocacy groups and shadows the people it serves might try to grasp in any belief in public input and oversight. I’ll admit that I’m glad the NRC is around (Can one imagine what the nuclear industry would be if there was anything of the order of the repeal of Glass-Stegall for them?) but they and their predecessor were always just a group formed to placate politicians and the public about the industry.

    But I have to admit, after reading the reports and analysis of the failure of these steam generators, that I can’t for the life of me see how the NRC swallowed any talk of them being ‘like for like’. I know I’m exaggerating, but it’s like saying that because I put a pound of C4 in a can that it’s just like the cherry bomb I took out of it. The redesign of components without full accompanying analysis at either end leaves me rather amazed, as well as substitution of the tube material that ‘like for like’ can even be considered. I’ve worked making parts for aircraft, where the danger of a failure is not at all acceptable, and the process that we went through for acceptance and assurance makes this look like a joke.

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