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Sen. Boxer, Rep. Markey release nuclear safety bombshell exposing collusion at San Onofre

Posted Feb. 6, 2013 / Posted by: Lisa Matthes

Friends of the Earth applauds congressional action, demands leaked document be released to public

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Friends of the Earth today welcomed the release of a letter from Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Edward Markey regarding a leaked document that raises serious questions about when Southern California Edison first became aware of flaws in the designs of the replacement steam generators in the San Onofre nuclear reactors and its actions regarding the needed fixes.

In a letter to Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane, Sen. Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Markey (D-Mass.) said the document from the generators’ manufacturer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, “indicates that Southern California Edison (SCE) and MHI were aware of serious problems with the design of San Onofre nuclear power plant’s replacement steam generators before they were installed. Further, the Report asserts that SCE and MHI rejected enhanced safety modifications and avoided triggering a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process.”

“This is a game-changer,” said Kendra Ulrich, nuclear campaigner for Friends of the Earth. “We applaud Sen. Boxer and Rep. Markey for urging the NRC to take action on this stunning revelation. We knew Edison attempted to avoid the license amendment process back in the mid-2000s, but we didn't know that it would go so far as to refuse needed safety changes to the flawed design in order to do so. This amounts to the willful endangerment of the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Southern California. Given the massive safety and corporate malfeasance implications, we are calling for the immediate release of this document in its entirety.”

On June 18, 2012, Friends of the Earth filed a petition with the NRC, showing that Edison should have been required to undergo a formal license amendment process prior to the installation of the Mitsubishi steam generators in the two San Onofre nuclear reactors. Friends of the Earth presented its case to the NRC’s Petitions Review Board two weeks ago and will be filing further evidence next week.

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CONTACT:

Kendra Ulrich, (202) 222-0715

Bill Walker, (510) 759-9911


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