Senator Boxer: Investigating New Safety Concerns at San Onofre
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Yesterday, I called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to immediately investigate new information indicating that Southern California Edison (SCE) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) were aware of problems with the design of the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s replacement steam generators before they were installed. The new information also raises concerns that SCE and MHI rejected enhanced safety modifications and avoided triggering a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process. To read more, please click here.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Your Voice Counts: Californians Respond to This Message +
Shut it down. It is not safe nor can it be made safe. Hindsight is always better than foresight, but we don't want to suffer the same conditions like Chernobyl or Fukushima. San Onofre has been idled too long. It only means that the engineers don't know how to make it safe to operate. Err on the side of caution and shut it permanently.
Rodney, San Diego
Thank you very much for expressing your concern about the San Onofre Nuclear power plant. I live in San Clemente and it scares me to know how the plant has been operated.
Ulla, San Clemente
Thank you for your continuing follow through with the nuclear power plant. I just had solar panels installed on my roof. Please continue those incentives. In SoCal why can't we gather more energy from our sun?
Mary, Laguna Hills
We see eye to eye on some important subjects. Such as the fact that if there is to be Nuclear Energy is must be truly clean and truly safe. Currently it is neither. Thank you for updating me with this extremely important issue.
Shannon, Bethel Island
I think we need to go even further and shut down nuclear power plants. Safety and nuclear power plants is an oxymoron.... Thank you for your continued support of this view.
Tanya, Huntington Beach
The vast number of residents of Southern CA do not want the San Onofre Power Plant reopened under any circumstances. The plant is old and has been poorly maintained -- it is simply a major disaster waiting to happen. We trust that you will use your common sense to make sure that the plant remains closed permanently.
Gary, Laguna Niguel
Please do not let your prejudice against Nuclear Energy interfere in getting San Onofre full back on line. I suspect your real intent is to shut all nuclear power facilities. That is a dreadful ambition and bad policy.
D., Aliso Viejo
Thank you Senator Boxer for your efforts to protect the safety of all who could suffer from a nuclear mishap.
Silka, San Diego
Thank you Senator for calling Prof Hirsch to the NRC hearing. He paints quite a different picture than Edison does. Is reopening San Onofre worth the risk for a fairly small amount of electricity? Imagine the economic destruction if something happened there. And we are not even factoring in seismic possibilities there. Edison and Mitsubishi have tried to pull a fast one here so they didn't need to undergo a full review. It is time for that now.
Anne, Laguna Beach
Our family is among the 8.7 million people who live within 50 miles of this power plant. In fact, we live in Oceanside, only 17 miles from there. We, along with our neighbors, are VERY concerned that San Onofre Nuclear Power plant NOT ever be reopened, until and unless we know it is TOTALLY SAFE. Otherwise is it like living with a nuclear time-bomb in our neighborhood, ready to go off. Furthermore, given the geologic, fault situation and propensity toward major earthquakes within 50 miles of this nuclear facility, My family questions the wisdom of ever reopening it again.
Thank you for keeping an eye on the liars at SCE and Mitsubishi. Nuclear fission is the most expensive method of boiling water ever invented. It has the potential to be catastrophic. In California we have a lot of sunny days. My home is powered by solar panels. For the price of the idiotic Iraq war we could have placed solar panels on every, single roof in the United States of America. We the taxpayers are on the hook for all meltdowns and releases of radioactive material. The waste materials will remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Providing a target for terrorists for that long as well. Shut down all nukes.
James, Huntington Beach
I live within 10 miles of SONGS. Although they may have some problems, I believe that they are operating a safe and efficient power plant. Nuclear energy is vital to the future of our nation. To look for a boogeyman behind every slight problem makes no sense. We need to be energy independant. Safe, efficient nuclear energy allows us to be that. One cannot be for renewable energy and not be in favor of nuclear energy. Wind and solar will not provide enough energy to meet the challenge. Nuclear can be safe and efficient. Let the utility and the NRC handle the situation. It does not not need the Senator's involvment.
Harold, Dana Point
Thank you for your stance and communication regarding the need for closer scrutiny and regulation of replacement segments for the San Onofre nuclear energy facilities. I appreciate your effort and acuity in monitoring those activities.
I am grateful to you for your continuing concern and oversight regarding the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. I urge you to also follow-up on the seismic concerns associated with the Diablo Nuclear Power Plant also.
Sandy, Santa Cruz
The power plant at San Onofre has served us here in Southern California for many years. The amount of energy it is capable of producing is far beyond ANY current energy generation methods. The plant has never had a problem and now after finally realizing the high costs of building and maintaining the plant YOU and others want to destroy it...for what? Wind and solar are part of the future, but not realistic for powering cities yet. Before tearing the nuclear plant down or decommissioning the plant we here in Southern California want a replacement source of energy. Energy costs are the highest in the country and nothing but higher costs will come from ANY other type of generation plant. On behalf of me and my family I want to see San Onofre rebuilt, recommissioned and put back on-line to serve the reasonably- priced, safe, energy needs of much of Southern California.
Joseph, San Diego
The San Onofre Nuclear plant has never completely passed a safety check. Southern California Edison thinks close is ok. It is in a heavily populated area, next to Camp Pendleton, near or on earthquake faults and close to the ocean.
Joan, Dana Point
After receiving and reading your news flash regarding your request to the NRC to launch an immediate investigation, I am compelled to respond. If you were genuinely concerned about helping Californian's, rather than trying to delay or discontinue the nuclear energy generation at San Onofre, you would be helping to secure new nuclear power generators, including this site.
Jeff, Del Mar
I would love to see San Onofre Nuclear generators shut down completely. They are not safe, have never been safe, and will never be safe. It is built on a fault, ocean front where tsunamis can hit (their wall is inadequate as shown by Japan). The area is perfect to convert to solar, wind, and wave energy generation, all clean energies which nuclear is Not!
Pattie, San Clemente
There is always a line between safety and cost/time. Always. We could save lives on our highways by driving at 20 MPH and having cars that weighed 10 tons and had 50 airbags, but we don't. Your memo and action seems to insinuate that SCE/MHI didn't do all they could, especially when doing so would trigger regulatory review (cost, time). I'm not sure there's enough information here to make an informed judgement, and your publicity here does little to help that assessment. I'm all for safety, especially given the proximity of SONGS. But I also accept that there's some risk - there always is.
Bill, Laguna Niguel
I heard it on the Radio and was very pleased you are keeping So. Cal. Edisons feet to the fire! We are very concerned that we could have an Nuclear disaster at that plant. So. Cal. Edison modifications to the plant has put our safety at risk for profit. The Nuclear Regulation Commision should investigate immediatly and provide the people in the vicinity with all information . Our health and safety and financial risk in our homes is at stake. Members of the Nuclear Commision should not give Edison any benifet of any doubt , they choose the modifications in order to avoid inspections and save money for profit. They should have to pay for their actions.
Bridget, Laguna Niguel
Thank you for your message and for looking into the matter going on down here in our area. Not only do we not have the power that the plant is supposed to be generating and may be in harm's way if things go wrong but it is my understanding that even though Southern California Edison is a publically traded company owned by shareholders that the SCE customers are paying for this problem through their electrical bills. If this is true is there any way for customers to recover their money that SCE has forced them to pay for SCE's poor judgment and mishandling of this situation?
James, Capistrano Beach
These nuclear facilities must be closed! As the catistrophie at Fukashima has more than demomstrated there is no safe way to use nuclear technology. The SCE Nuclear plant is too dangerous to stay on line. Get rid of it! Before its too late.
Keith, San Jose
It is clear, now more than ever, that this plant should never be reopened and that there was fraud committed by So Cal Edison and Mitsubishi who knowingly installed something they knew wouldn't work! How they can pretend to have any concern for the safety of the millions of people who live within the 50 mile radius of the plant is unfathomable. Please help us to make sure this plant never, ever reopens. I live well within the 50 mile radius and have been thankful every single day the plant stays shut. I only hope it will be permanent. The NRC must look out for the best interests of U.S. citizens and not the power company or Mitsubishi. This is another Fukushima waiting to happen. Thank you for your time and actions on this horrendous situation.
Gerry, Laguna Woods
You have made a small first step toward shining some much needed light on what happened at San Onofre, thanks to SCE poor in-house design of the replacement steam generators!! By giving the Industry permission to consider most documents private, there can be no true oversight by the public! Case in Point: The report you mentioned was not made available to the public, if it was then by now these problems would have already been identified by the DAB Safety Team, and that could have saved SoCal residents $54 Million a month! SCE is trying to "game" the evidence against them, and your EPW comm. cannot allow US Nuclear Safety to become yet more Party vs Party Politics, the USA cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima! The NRC hearing today was yet another sign that the NRC is trying to say that everything is wonderful when in fact we now have a 1.4 Billion dollar problem thanks to SCE trying to circumvent the NRC regulations, because they can!
Don, San Diego
Thank you for your recent efforts calling on the NRC to investigate possible problems at the San Onofre nuclear power plant. I applaud your dedication to ensuring that existing plants are safe and I hope you will work to stop the construction of future plants. Though we need to move away from our reliance on fossil fuels, nuclear power is not the solution. Conservation, education, and improved efficiency, along with green energy options can solve the problem.
Bruce, Long Beach
Thank you for your quick action on this. My faith in you is well founded! That's saying a lot, coming from a registered Republican.
Kathie, Laguna Niguel
I live in Oceanside approximately 15 miles south of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant and it scares me to death. Please shut it down permanently. Nuclear is not the answer to our energy needs. I understand this plant is similar in design and vintage to the Fukishima Nuclear Power Plant that have devastated life in Japa. Using nuclear energy to boil water is like using a shot gun to kill a fly - more collateral damage than effective action.
I hope and pray that the San Onofre Plant is closed down. I feel it is not safe and also that we residents have been charged for a plant that has not been operating.
Helen, Mission Viejo
I am dismayed by the apparent glee with which you announce the problems at San Onofre. Our future depends on clean nuclear power. There is no alternative. It is time you become informed and supported immediate construction of 4th generation nuclear power plants in California. Is may already be too late.
Thank you for pursuing this investigation. We do not need a catastrophic disaster as in Japan!
Michael, Santa Rosa
San Onofre should perhaps not be restarted at all, certainly not without engineering data/computations made available for independent analysis. The NRC is a captured agency. As Arnie Gunderson has remarked, San Onofre is a giant experiment with Southern California as the guinea pig. Let's not have a nuclear accident here.
Bradford, San Diego
Nuclear Power Plant safety has been a concern of mine since the opening of Diablo Canyon in the 70's. I have lived in San Diego, San Luis Obisbo, or Orange County throughout my adult life. This is too beautiful of a state, and too populated to take chances.
Patricia, San Diego
Thank you for taking up this urgent matter concerning the safety of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. This is proof once again that the private sector cannot be responsible for the welfare of the people and nuclear power must be replaced with renewable energy. It’s unbelievable that even after the disaster in Japan, these fools still gamble with our lives and that of the planet. This is a testament for the need for strong, well-funded government regulatory agencies. Don't let the Republicans cut the budget on the NRC..
Jill, San Diego
This makes a nice headline for the media, but in this case, I actually believe Southern California's denial. From everything released to this point, and from my knowledge of the engineering complexities of the steam generator design, I believe that the likelihood of knowledge of pre-installation flaws in the steam generators is unlikely. This news release only spins up the public living in the area (like me), and should have been fully validated and vetted before being released.
While I naturally share your concerns regarding the safe operation of any nuclear power plant, especially one near my home, I can't help but think that if there's a possibility that "SCE and MHI rejected enhanced safety modifications and avoided triggering a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process" then there is something seriously wrong with the license amendment and safety review process. It sounds as if, from a regulatory standpoint, additional safety becomes materially punitive. This should never, ever be the case.
Erik, San Diego