NRC Convenes Oversight Panel to Evaluate SONGS Unit 2 Restart

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has convened a panel of technical experts to evaluate Southern California Edison's proposal to restart a reactor at its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Both units at the plant were kept out of service a year ago following the discovery of premature steam generator tube wear. SCE wants to bring unit 2 to partial power for 5 months, then shut it down again to further inspect its steam generators. On Tuesday, the NRC released a document outlining the formation of a panel of 12 experts from within the agency to provide a recommendation on the restart of unit 2.

The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted a panel member as saying that recommendation could come as soon as March.

Also on Tuesday, the NRC announced a public meeting at 6 p.m., Feb. 12, in Capistrano Beach, Calif. The agency will address the status of its review of the plan to restart unit 2, as well as actions SCE has taken to date.