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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has formed a special task force to be called the San Onofre Review Panel, which will evaluate Southern California Edison’s proposal to restart one of the two long-idled nuclear reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the San Clemente Times is reporting.

The panel will include representatives from the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, the lead inspector at San Onofre, and Art Howell, the deputy regional administrator for the Commission’s District IV, which includes several other southwestern nuclear plants in addition to San Onofre. No representatives from Edison or the general public were invited to sit on the panel.

In other news, the Temecula City Council is being asked to take a position on the restart plan. Several other cities within the potential 50 mile evacuation zone in the event of a nuclear disaster have already weighed in, and the San Diego Unified School District even adopted a measure at the last board meeting in opposition to the plan.

“You are 24 miles downwind of San Onofre,” Solana Beach resident Torgan Johnson told the Council, Temecula Patch reports. “Many other cities have taken a stance on this issue.”

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Comments

Founder Jan. 25, 2013 @ 2:50 p.m.

Downtown SD is within the 50 miles of SanO, as many locals like to call San Onofre.

See all the great comments here about that: NRC Forms Special San Onofre Review Panel

Feel free to add some of your own comments and then encourage all of your friends to do the same, these are getting read by many NRC "big shots"...

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tomjohnston Jan. 25, 2013 @ 3:50 p.m.

Interesting that nearly half of those"great comments" are yours. That leads me to ask you the same question that I have asked you before and you have yet to answer. My involvement in the anti-nuclear movement goes back to the Diablo Canyon protests in 1981 and the 1977 protests at San Onofre during the construction of units 2 and 3, as I have documented in the Reader previously. Since your fascination with the issue of nuclear power plants seems to have begun with the most recent problems at San Onofre, I will ask again. Have you actually attended any meetings or hearings? Have you participate in in demonstrations? Have you actually done anything other than just post comments on websites? Have you actually gotten involved, or do you just like to comment? I ask this in all seriousness. Are you an actual participant that can be counted on or are you just a hanger on?

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Founder Jan. 25, 2013 @ 2:54 p.m.

Two of the first comments post on the above link:

The above Panel should N☢T be co-chaired by anyone in Region IV, since their supervision of Edison has been called into question and the panel should include at least one and preferably two outside experts to insure that this HISTORIC NRC/NRR Panel is not just covering up for the NRC (and Edison) to protect its own public image!

FEI does not care about NRC internal politics, nor does it follow inter-office memo’s or yield to graft.

and

The issues involved in the SONGS steam generator encompass thermal-hydraulics and material science and technology. I am extremely upset and disappointed in the lack of judgement displayed by senior NRC management and the Commission in the glaring omission of the NRC Office of Research[RES] from playing a major role in this special panel. It is at times like this that RES was created by the Congress.to get an independent, confirmatory assessment of abnormal behavior in a nuclear plant.hThe Chairman should insist on the following additions to the panelOne staff expert on thermal-hydraulicsand one staff expert in material science. In addition two consultants from the unverities and or national labs serve on the panel, as peer reviewers. you can not win public confidence in your findingwithout these additions to the to the panel. Mel S. NRC RES Retired; former Chief of Severe Accident Research Branch.

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Founder Jan. 25, 2013 @ 3:43 p.m.

One of the lastest comments to be moderated: In reply to Mr. Silberberg: You sir are correct, we need MORE not LESS information made public in order that knowledgeable people can fact check exactly what is happening at SanO. To hide most of the data behind a veil of secrecy, is no longer acceptable especially since that practice is what has resulted in the current 1 to 1.5 billion dollar debacle at SanO.

This is the first time in the US Nuclear Fleet that what Dr. Joram Hopenfeld, (who also retired from the NRC staff) first described (what we now call the Hopenfeld Effect) as a cascade of SG tube failures, has actually been observed in a Steam Generator (See Response to NRR RAI -32 – Technical ==> Attachment 3 https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit?docId=0BweZ3c0aFXcFX05DMWxKNmZXUTA).

snip “The concerns raised by Dr. Hopenfeld are extremely important safety issues. As the ACRS stated:

• Steam generators constitute more than 50% of the surface area of the primary pressure boundary in a pressurized water reactor. • Unlike other parts of the reactor pressure boundary, the barrier to fission product release provided by the steam generator tubes is not reinforced by the reactor containment as an additional barrier.” • Leakage of primary coolant through openings in the steam generator tubes could deplete the inventory of water available for the long-term cooling of the core in the event of an accident.

In the decade since Dr. Hopenfeld first raised his safety concerns, the NRC has allowed many nuclear plants to continue operating nuclear power plants with literally thousands of steam generator tubes that are known to be fatigue cracked! The ACRS concluded that the NRC staff made these regulatory decisions using incomplete and inaccurate information. After receiving the ACRS’s report, the NRC staff considered Hopenfeld’s concerns “resolved” even though it had taken no action to address the numerous recommendations in the ACRS report. The NRC must now formally address Dr. Hopenfeld’s concerns as soon as possible. In the interim, the NRC must stop making decisions affecting the lives of millions of Americans when it lacks “defensible technical basis” because the US cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima, due to RSG tube failures caused by poor design, fatigue or any other combination of reasons.”

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Founder Jan. 25, 2013 @ 3:44 p.m.

Cont: Because the Hopenfeld Effect has now been proven as factual, the NRC must re-evaluated it’s “dated” thinking and its computer modeling about SG failures which now only allows for a single SG tube failure ASAP… In fact, I predict that time will show that a nuclear accident (not a nuclear incident) was narrowly avoided at SanO on January 31, 2012 only because of shear luck, due to the timing of the discovery of Edison’s poorly in-house designed replacement steam generators (RSG). Had that Unit 3 tube been just a tiny bit stronger and not leaked when it did; then with both Unit 2 & 3 back online when a MSLB occurred, we now know that it would have resulted in the complete venting of the core coolant within minutes…

This is why what happened at SanO (as the locals like to say) is so important and why the NRC has to “get it right” this time; the safety of the entire US nuclear fleet depends upon it! Just as many basic design problems were discovered after the Fukushima tragedy, Sano has become the model of what NOT to do for all future RSG design engineers globally and demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt why having a qualified public review process is so important, especially where the risk of a radioactive “Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster” is involved.

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Visduh Jan. 27, 2013 @ 11:12 a.m.

While it is good news that a special review panel has been established, excluding anyone from the utility (and the public) isn't the most astute thing. If both had a seat at the table, there would be no charges later on that the panel was stacked with "anti's" and that Edison didn't get a fair chance to have its plan considered. I can be certain that there will be such charges, regardless of the outcome of this review.

Cities, such as Temecula, taking a stance on this reopening are wasting their time. They have no say-so and little clout in the matter. The "experts" will decide as federal law specifies, and that will be that.

Yes, Founder, the NRC has to get it right, completely right, unalterably right, and all that jazz on this restart. And if they rule there will be no restart without a complete replacement of the steam generators, then that is what must occur. We will learn much more about this and it will take a very long time for a final resolution. Stay tuned.

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