February 14, 2013 (San Diego) – In a letter sent to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on February 8, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner urged denial of Southern California Edison’s request to restart Unit 2 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station for five months at 70% as a test to see if similar problems that caused failure of a steam generator at Unit 3 would occur.
Mayor Filner stated bluntly, “The NRC has previously determined that both Unit 2 and Unit 3 steam generators had similar serious design flaws and errors in the computer models used for design. The restart of Unit 2, even at reduced power, is a dangerous experiment that threatens the safety of the 8.2 million Southern California residents living within a 50-mile radius, including much of San Diego.”
He urged that any decision on the potential restart of Unit 2 should be preceded by a public, transparent license amendment hearing before the NRC, with sworn testimony by experts so that all impacted residents can understand the risks.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is investigating the customer rate charges associated with the year-long shutdown of SONGS. Any decision to restart Unit 2 should consider public safety first, but also the high cost to consumers for reduced power generation of 700 mW versus the 2200 mW when SONGS was fully operative, Filner added.
Attorney General Kamala Harris has filed as an intervenor in the CPUC hearing.
Filner added, “And any decision to restart SONGS at any level should consider the reliability and costs compared to a future based on alternatives, including efficiency, load management, demand response, renewable energy, and energy storage."
He urge the NRC not to authorize the restart of SONGS until both a full license amendment hearing has been conducted by the NRC and the CPUC finishes its investigation.