Del Mar urges more pressure on NRC as Edison seeks to reopen San Onofre reactor

By Claire Harlin

The Del Mar City Council on April 2 sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman urging their continued pressure on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to require a license amendment and public hearing prior to allowing Southern California Edison’s restart of nuclear reactors at San Onofre.

Waxman, a ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has been vocal in his push for a license amendment regarding the proposed restart. Boxer has also called attention to a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) report that reveals new deals about the design and fabrication of the now-crippled replacement steam generators, as well as the possibility that Edison was trying to avoid a license amendment prior to the installation of that faulty equipment.

Del Mar’s letter, signed by Mayor Terry Sinnott, thanked the two for their efforts and Congressional pressure that recently resulted in the NRC releasing to the public a redacted version of this report.

The letter also stated that Del Mar officials are heartened by Edison’s recent announcement that it will submit a “No Significant Hazards Consideration” (NSHC) analysis as part of its request for a license amendment.

Del Mar officials say such an analysis would effectively deny the public a meaningful public hearing and critical independent expert review

“This is unacceptable,” stated the council in its letter. “Public trust will not be restored by continued attempts to avoid such a hearing process, and this type of effort to convince the public that minor technical license amendments are sufficient.”

The letter also expressed concern that the NRC’s April 3 meeting with Edison to discuss the NSHC request was set to take place in Rockville, Maryland.

“The appropriate place for such a meeting is in Southern California, where it would be accessible to those citizens whose lives will be most impacted by the matters discussed,” the letter stated.

Officials from the NRC and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, were sent a copy of the letter.