Nuclear Agency Extends San Onofre Plant to 2022

Enraging environmentalists, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week agreed to extend the life of the San Onofre nuclear power plant until 2022, nine years beyond the date it was to retire.

Activists say Southern California Edison, the plant operator, won the extension without effective public notice or proof that the move is safe. Regulatory and plant officials disagree, and say such an extension simply allows plant operators to recapture time lost during construction.

“It’s a relatively common practice in the industry,” said Edison spokesman Ray Golden.

The extensions were granted Thursday for Units II and III at San Onofre, which provide energy for 2.5 million homes and businesses.