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San Onofre: call for criminal investigation into Southern California Edison’s statements

“Now that this precise failure has occurred, and there has been a leak of radioactive material, Edison claims that it could simply restart the nuclear plant at 70 percent capacity, and once again circumvent the full safety and licensing process,” Boxer said. “How could they first assert that tube failure would be a ‘disastrous outcome’ and now claim that it is no big deal?”

Boxer,-Barbara-Sen.Senator Boxer Seeks Criminal Probe of San Onofre Nuclear Plant WASHINGTON, DC, May 29, 2013 (ENS) – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California is asking the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into Southern California Edison’s statements to nuclear regulators about replacing steam generators at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Located on the California coast south of San Clemente, San Onofre has been shut down since January 2012 due to premature wear found on over 3,000 tubes in replacement steam generators and a leak of radioactive material.

Senator Boxer Tuesday released a 2004 letter by an Edison executive to steam generator manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that she said presents “major new evidence of misrepresentation and safety lapses by Edison.” Edison replaced steam generators in 2009 and 2010 without review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission because the company said the replacements met a federal test of being the same parts.

But the November 30, 2004 letter from SCE Vice President Dwight E. Nunn released by Boxer, and now posted on the SCE website, states that “although the old and new steam generators will be similar in many respects they aren’t like-for-like replacements.”

The letter expressed worry that the new steam generators, which though similar, would not be “like for like” replacements and could lead to the same kind of potential “disastrous” issues that did, in fact, cause the plant’s shutdown in 2012.

Boxer said, “This correspondence leads me to believe that Edison intentionally misled the public and regulators in order to avoid a full safety review and public hearing in connection with its redesign of the plant.”

“Ultimately, Edison asserted that the replacement was ‘like-for-like,’ enabling them to avoid a full license review and a public hearing,” Boxer said……. Boxer said she is shocked by the Nunn letter’s prediction of a “disastrous outcome.”

“Now that this precise failure has occurred, and there has been a leak of radioactive material, Edison claims that it could simply restart the nuclear plant at 70 percent capacity, and once again circumvent the full safety and licensing process,” Boxer said. “How could they first assert that tube failure would be a ‘disastrous outcome’ and now claim that it is no big deal?”

Boxer told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that she is worried because “San Onofre is over 40 years old, it is on a new earthquake fault, it is in a tsunami area and you’ve got eight million people within 50 miles of the plant.”

San Onofre is located 65 miles south of Los Angeles, with its 3.8 million people and less than 50 miles south of cities in the southern Los Angeles metropolitan area such as Long Beach, Irvine, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach with a combined population of roughly a million people.

The plant is located 55 miles north of San Diego, with its 1.3 million people.

“Given this new information, it is clear to me that in order for this nuclear plant to even be considered for a restart in the future all investigations must be completed and a full license amendment and public hearing process must be required,” Senator Boxer said. …… http://ens-newswire.com/2013/05/29/senator-boxer-seeks-criminal-probe-of-san-onofre-nuclear-plant/

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May 30, 2013 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA

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