Donald Mosier | Councilmember, City of Del Mar
Del Mar and other southern California cities received some encouraging news from Friends Of The Earth:
“In a stunning rebuke to Southern California Edison’s bid to start up the crippled San Onofre nuclear power plant, the U.S. Atomic Safety Licensing Board ruled today that the reactors cannot be restarted before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds a formal license amendment proceeding with full public participation. The prospects for Edison’s plans to restart the San Onofre nuclear reactor unit two this summer have been dealt a major blow by this important decision.
A three-judge panel of the ASLB granted a petition from Friends of the Earth asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to require Edison to undergo a trial-like license amendment process before a judge, including public hearings, sworn testimony from expert witnesses and rules of evidence.
Last month, Edison asked the NRC for permission to restart one of the reactors by this summer and run it at partial power – a request the agency has indicated it would do with no prior public hearing. Today’s ruling, which was in response to a Friends of the Earth petition arguing that a March 2012 Confirmatory Action Letter from the NRC to Edison marked the start of a de facto license amendment process, prohibits the agency from taking that step.”
This is the full licensing amendment hearing that the Del Mar City Council requested last September. The ruling stands unless overturned by the NRC Commissioners, which is unlikely but not impossible.