Environment & Science

Boxer: New documents show San Onofre nuclear plant cut corners on safety (PDF)

A runner passes by the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant on April 6, 2012.
A runner passes by the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant on April 6, 2012.
Grant Slater/KPCC

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Federal regulators have released documents that Sen. Barbara Boxer says show that the operator of the San Onofre nuclear plant tried to shortchange safety. 

The two heavily redacted documents come from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. That’s the company that built San Onofre’s faulty steam generators.
In a statement, Boxer says the reports “raise serious concerns about whether Southern California Edison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rejected safety modifications to avoid triggering the more rigorous license amendment and safety review process.”
A license change would have required plant operator Edison to go through a judicial-style review before installing the new generators.
Boxer asserts that Edison tried — and succeeded — in getting around that review.
The environmental group Friends of the Earth calls the report a “bombshell” and says it “fatally undermines” Edison’s case for re-starting the plant.
But in a statement of its own, Edison says there is nothing in the report regulators weren’t already aware of. It blames Mitsubishi’s faulty computer modeling for the tube-to-tube wear that led to the plant’s shutdown over a year ago.

Edison tweeted this response to KPCC:

San Onofre documents by