With the aim of mollifying critics and getting permission to restart the beleaguered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station by June 1, Southern California Edison officials Monday submitted documents officially requesting a license amendment.
If approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the amendment would allow the utility to run its Unit 2 reactor at 70 percent power for the next operating cycle.
Units 2 and 3 at the plant were taken offline in January of 2012 after a radioactive steam leak revealed .
Edison issued a release Monday stating it had officially submitted the license amendment paperwork. The national environmental group Friends of the Earth said issued a subsequent press release alleging the license amendment proposal doesn’t go far enough to address safety concerns.
“Edison’s idea of a license amendment is a rubber stamp from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” said Friends of the Earth spokeswoman Kendra Ulrich said in a press release. “Its request is a red herring to divert attention from major unresolved safety issues and circumvent meaningful public participation. It would be an outrage and a betrayal of the public's trust if the NRC were to concede to Edison's demands."
Edison, however, points to an exhaustive safety analysis by more than a half dozen independent companies who came together to study the plant's problems. San Onofre is safe to operate, said Edison officials.
Edison and NRC officials discussed the amendment at a public hearing April 3.