Days after Southern California Edison said there was hope for a possible restart of the San Onofre nuclear plant in June, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a statement saying there was no timeline planned for a reopening.
The statement, released Monday by Chairman Gregory Jaczko, says the agency will take "whatever time is necessary" to review exisiting and pending documentation on repairs and issues at the plant.
Both reactors have been offline for more than three months following a radioactive gas leak and evidence of excessive and unusual wear on the tubing inside the steam generators.
Federal approval will be required to boot up the plant. Jaczko says to even discuss that possibility at this point is "premature."
Despite some erroneous reports in the media, there is no NRC timetable for restart of the San Onofre nuclear reactors, which have been shut down over safety issues affecting the steam generators. We have yet to receive the utility’s written response documenting their completion of actions described in the March 27 Confirmatory Action Letter, so any discussion of a date for the restart of Unit 2 or Unit 3 is clearly premature. Once we receive their response, we will take whatever time is necessary to conduct a thorough safety review.
Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner