Ken Leighton 4:17 p.m., July 23
Boxer, Markey demand San Onofre investigation
Senator, Congressman say new information indicates SCE overlooked safety
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California and Democratic Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts today (Feb. 6) wrote the federal Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) urging it to investigate new information indicating that Southern California Edison (SCE) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries were aware of problems with the design of the San Onofre nuclear power plant's steam generators before they were installed. Edison got permission from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2005 to install four generators. Mitsubishi manufactured the new ones. But two new ones lasted less than a year and two others lasted less than two years. Boxer and Markey, both of whom head environmental committees in Congress, have been provided new information indicating that Edison and Mitsubishi "were aware of serious problems with the design of the San Onofre nuclear power plant's replacement steam generators before they were installed," they said in the letter to the NRC.
"This newly-obtained information concerns us greatly, and we urge the NRC to immediately conduct a thorough investigation" into whether SCE and Mitsubishi failed to make necessary safety enhancements, say the legislator. States the letter, "All people in our nation, including the 8.7 million people who live within 50 miles of the San Onofre plant, must have confidence in the NRC's commitment to put safety before any other concern."