Friends of the Earth demands release of leaked report
Washington, D.C. -- Southern California Edison, operator of the San Onofre nuclear reactors, appears to have submitted false information to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Friends of the Earth charged today. The nuclear watchdog again demanded the release of a suppressed report that two senior members of Congress say shows that Edison had prior knowledge of potential design flaws in replacement steam generators that failed after less than two years of service.
In a letter to the NRC’s Petition Review Board, Friends of the Earth said the report, as described by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), contradicts Edison’s declarations to the Commission last month. The utility claimed it had no prior knowledge of deficiencies in the design of the generators until they failed in January 2012.
Details of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries report were released last week by Sen. Boxer, Chairwoman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. She did not release the report, but in a letter to the NRC she and Rep. Markey said Mitsubishi told Edison of potential problems with the new generators, but modifications to correct the design flaws were not adopted, as Edison wanted to avoid triggering an NRC license amendment process. This would have required a more thorough and public review of the replacement program.
Friends of the Earth also demanded that the Petition Review Board must consider the document in proceedings currently underway. The NRC Petition Review Board, in response to a petition from Friends of the Earth, is determining whether Edison improperly failed to apply for a license amendment before installing replacement steam generators of a radically different design than was permitted under the reactors’ operating license...