NRC meeting Tuesday in Orange County on restart of San Onofre nuclear plant

David McNew/Getty Images

A couple stands near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station at San Onofre State Beach on March 15, 2012 south of San Clemente, California. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds a meeting Tuesday to hear about Southern California Edison's plan to restart one of the plants two reactors. The nuclear plant has been shut down since the detection of a leak in one of the steam generator tubes on January 31, 2012. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds a public meeting Tuesday night in San Juan Capistrano to hear about Southern California Edison's (SCE) plan to restart the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

SCE has submitted plans to restart Unit 2 to the NRC. There are no plans to restart the other reactor, Unit 3. 

The plant has been shut down since January 31, 2012, when a small amount of radiation leaked into the atmosphere from Unit 3. At the time, Unit 2 was in a pre-planned shutdown for maintenance. Inspections found that steam generator tubes were wearing out at an accelerated rate in both units. The entire facility has remained offline for more than a year.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., earlier this month sent a letter to Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane expressing concerns about information in a 2012 document from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactured the steam generators.

The two lawmakers said the document showed plant operator, Southern California Edison, knew of "serious problems" with the design of the steam generators before they were installed in 2009 and 2010.

SCE responded that it had cooperated with the commission and "has provided voluminous records, data, information and other accurate reports as requested."

Friends of the Earth, San Clemente Green, Residents Organized for Safe Environment and other groups want the plant shut down permanently. The groups also have told the NRC they want SCE to go through another licensing process before the plant is restarted.

The public will be able to ask SCE and the NRC questions about the restart plans. The meeting also will be streamed online at: video.nrc.gov. The meeting is scheduled to start at  6 p.m. at Capo Beach Church, 25975 Domingo Ave.  San Juan Capistrano. 

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