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Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Senator Boxer to NRC: 'Careful' before restarting San Onofre

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), head of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has been meeting every few weeks with the chairman of the NRC about the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), head of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has been meeting every few weeks with the chairman of the NRC about the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Southern California Edison officials will meet with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Wednesday to press for permission to restart one of San Onofre’s nuclear reactors at limited power. California’s junior Senator says the NRC has to be “very careful” before allowing San Onofre to start up again.

As head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer has been meeting every few weeks with the chairman of the NRC. Boxer says she’s “satisfied” the agency is taking safety concerns at San Onofre seriously.

The California Democrat says if Edison tried to build a nuclear power plant in that location today — over a newly-discovered earthquake fault, with eight million people living within 50 miles of the plant — the NRC would never grant permission. "There’d be about as much chance of getting a plant there as putting it on the moon."

Boxer says documents from a whistle blower show SoCal Edison was trying to avoid having to reapply for a permit and was “aware” the repairs made to the plant aren’t the ones that should have been done.

The two reactors at San Onofre have been shut down for more than a year since a leak of radioactive steam. Edison officials did not return phone calls Tuesday afternoon for comment.

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