Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836
WASHINGTON (June 7, 2013) – After months of questions raised by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) about whether the owner of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California knew about safety problems, the nuclear facility will now close permanently. Rep. Markey hailed the news as a win for the safety of residents living near the plant, and for the function of Congressional oversight to highlight problems and protect the public.
“Closing this plant is the right thing to do for the people of California, and for the ongoing fight to ensure that nuclear power facilities all around the nationare as safe as possible,” said Rep. Markey. “At least two federal agencies are now investigating allegations of wrongdoing with San Onofre, and it is my hope that all the pending investigations continue. We need to know whether Southern California Edison chose not to use better safety upgrades recommended by its technical experts because they could have led to a more rigorous safety review and licensing process. We need to get the full story here if we are to ensure that the NRC and nuclear power plant operators avoid this kind of mess in the future at another reactor.”
On February 6, Senator Barbara Boxer and Rep. Markey wrote a letter to NRC requesting an investigation into a report obtained by their offices that indicated that SoCal Edison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries were aware of problems with the design of the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s replacement steam generators before they were installed. The NRC responded on February 8 to Senator Boxer and Rep. Markey and confirmed that an expansive investigation is underway.
On February 21, Rep. Markey wrote a letter asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate SoCal Edison for failing to fully inform its investors of design flaws found by SoCal Edison and Mitsubishi in advance of the replacement of parts of the plant. Rep. Markey also asked the SEC to investigate whether SoCal Edison decided to reject recommended safety modifications for fear that they would be required to undertake a new license process before the parts could be installed. SoCal Edison is the operator of the plant and hired Mitsubishi as a contractor.
On April 8, the SEC responded to Rep. Markey’s letter saying that it was evaluating the materials.
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