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

AAEA believes Southern California Edison can operate the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) without undue risk to public health and safety.  AAEA commends the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its exhaustive review of the steam generator situation at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.  AAEA 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 to restart immediately.

Southern California needs the emission free electricity provided by SONGS.  The state needs this emission free electricity in order to meet the goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).  Vulnerable communities need SONGS to mitigate smog in the region.  The hundreds of SONGS employees facing lay off or job loss desperately need this employment.  Moreover, the closure has cost San Onofre's owners, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, more than $470 million.  The closure represents a significant burden for ratepayers who already face increasing electricity rates.  The restart would mitigate purchasing imported electricity.   We believe these great benefits can be provided by a SONGS restart and without 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.  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.  We believe the licensee will shut down again if there is a problem because their principle concern is the safety of the public.

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