February 14, 2013
It is no surprise that Southern California Edison and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are keeping safety information about the San Onofre plant secret. One of the main lessons of the Fukushima disaster in Japan was that collusion between the nuclear industry and government regulators can have deadly consequences.
The NRC logo states, "Protecting People and the Environment." But here, the NRC seems interested in protecting Edison and not the 8.4 million people who live within the 50-mile evacuation zone. Edison has said that safety is its No. 1 concern, but it is pretty obvious that its two main concerns are profit and avoiding telling the truth.
It is way too dangerous for San Onofre oversight to be managed by an agency that favors the industry it pretends to regulate. San Onofre should never be allowed to operate.
There is a comprehensive, deliberative process at work to resolve the steam generator challenge at San Onofre, one involving the independent federal regulatory and oversight body, the NRC. It's one that even lawmakers and activists with agendas should respect.
For more than 30 years, San Onofre has safely provided clean electricity, employed thousands of workers and become a bedrock community asset in generating millions of dollars in tax revenue.
Edison ought to be accorded due process in a regulatory framework, whose stringency and commitment to safety is second to none.
Anthony R. Pietrangelo
The writer is senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at the Nuclear Energy Institute.
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