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The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission yesterday morning shot down a request by environmental group Friends of the Earth to require a public hearing before deciding whether to allow Southern California Edison to resume operations at its troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The Commission’s unanimous decision to deny the request was reached at a meeting that is reported to have lasted less than one minute.

Friends of the Earth’s justification for the request rested largely on the assertion that the replacement of steam generators at San Onofre’s twin nuclear reactors constituted design changes so significant that Edison should have been required to seek approval and a licensing amendment before installing the new generators, which failed after less than two years of operation. Such claims stem from a report commissioned by the group that was released in May and also cast doubts on the feasibility of making repairs to the malfunctioning equipment.

“We believe that the Commission could, and should, have made a decision on its own to convene an adjudicatory hearing now about Edison’s plans to restart San Onofre,” reads part of a statement issued by Friends after the rejection. “In any case, the details of this case are crystal clear: Edison made dramatic and irresponsible design changes to the new steam generators which it chose to represent to the NRC as a “like for like” exchange for the original steam generators.”

While the Commission declined to act at the moment, it did leave open the possibility that Friends could renew their request at some point in the future, possibly when there is “an indication that a restart of SONGS Units 2 or 3 appears imminent,” per the official order denying the request.

The Commission will hold a public meeting next Tuesday in Dana Point to discuss Edison’s proposal to resume operation of one nuclear reactor.

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Comments

tomjohnston Nov. 9, 2012 @ 9:02 a.m.

You appear to have forgotten to mention in your story that the NRC did refer portions of Friends of the Earth's request to commission staff and the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board panel, which it seems can conduct hearings and that the Friends of the Earth issued a statement of its own, saying the group was "encouraged by the tone and content" of the NRC order and would pursue the issue through commission staff and the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board as directed"

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Founder Nov. 9, 2012 @ 11:28 a.m.

FOE: http://is.gd/6ItJlO snip WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In today’s decision, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has directed its Atomic Safety and Licensing Board and staff to consider the issues raised by Friends of the Earth in its petition filed June 18, 2012.

Specifically, the Commission:

Referred to the ASLB whether the current CAL process is a de facto license amendment process, requiring an adjudicatory public hearing;

Referred to the Commission staff whether Edison should have sought a license amendment, with attendant adjudicatory hearings, when it installed the defective steam generators in 2010-11;

Offered to reconsider convening an adjudicatory hearing if the ASLB denies Friends of the Earth’s request;

Offered to reconsider staying the restart of the idled reactors if restart becomes imminent before the completion of the processes ordered above.

In addition, the Commission states that NRC staff is “…already evaluating whether these SCE actions required a license amendment”.

+++++

From http://sanonofresafety.org/2012/11/08/nrc-launches-two-proceedings-about-san-onofres-future/comment-page-1/#comment-7484

Now the BIG question is, if NRC Region IV will find some loophole at the Nov. 16, 2012 meeting, that will allow SCE to do any kind of restart (at any Power) by calling it something like System Pressure TESTING, in order to allow SCE to claim they generated some Power to the CPUC, so that they can get out of refunding ratepayers for their 1.2 Billion Dollar Debacle!

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Founder Nov. 9, 2012 @ 5:48 p.m.

Latest News about the Poorly tested tubes at SanO:

SONG's Unsafe Inspections Put SoCal At Risk http://decommission.sanonofre.com/2012/11/songs-unsafe-inspections-put-socal-at.html

Expect to see SCE and SDG&E stock go downward even more as the reality of refunding $1.2 Billion Dollars to rate payers hits shareholders in their bottom-line...

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