Thursday, March 28, 2013

Restart San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2

Recommendation To Restart SONGS Unit 2 and Accelerate Review and Restart of Unit 3

Norris McDonald at SONGS on July 6, 2005

The Center believes Southern California Edison can operate the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) without undue risk to public health and safety.  The Center commends the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its exhaustive review of the steam generator situation at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  The Center reached its conclusion after exhaustive review of the NRC evaluation of SONGS Unit 2 and Unit 3 steam generators.  We believe the NRC has been thorough and that the licensee has been completely responsive to any and all Requests for Additional Information (RAIs) related to the Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL).  As such, the NRC should grant permission for SONGS (Unit 2) to restart immediately.

We support NRC's prudence and know that the agency will not allow restart until it is satisfied the licensee can operate the plant without undue risk to public health and safety.  Edison has proposed re-starting San Onofre’s Reactor 2 at 70 percent power for five months.  We believe this is a prudent proposal and NRC should allow it.  We believe the licensee will shut down again if there is a problem because their principle concern is the safety of the public.  This safeguard assures public safety and health.  The NRC should complete its technical evaluation and render a decision to restart Unit 2 in May.

We also believe the licensee will complete its CAL actions for Unit 3 and that unit should be restarted as soon as possible.  The licensee shut down immediately upon detecting one of the Unit 3 generators was leaking and causing a tiny, but measurable increase in the radioactivity of the normally non-radioactive water in the secondary (steam) side of the steam generators. The licensee also reported the leak incident to the NRC.  Subsequent repairs and tube plugging have been completed and all of NRC's additional information requests have been, or are being, satisfied.  SONGS has been shut down for too long and the NRC should take immediate steps to allow the licensee to restart both units.

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