Believe So. Cal. Edison about San Onofre?

Should we believe the operator of the broken San Onofre 2 nuclear plant that it’s safe to restart at 70% power? The same operator that knew the now-broken steam generators were flawed before it installed them? Recommended by the same NRC staff who couldn’t answer opponents’ questions? The same NRC that doesn’t publish licensee documents and says that’s never been a practice? wrote yesterday, Sen. Boxer Blasts Report on San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station,

On Monday, Southern California Edison announced it had formalized a request to amend its operating license to allow it to operate its Unit 2 reactor at 70 percent beginning June 1.

The reactor was undergoing scheduled maintenance in January 2012 when a small, non-injury leak was discovered in plant’s other reactor. The plant has been shut down since.

According to Edison, vibrations that led to premature wearing of steam pressure tubes in the reactors don’t occur at 70 percent power. The utility wants to operate on limited power for the five warm weather months and then shut down for an inspection of the tubes.

After the inspection, the reactor would resume operating at 70 percent power. The company said it would use the collected tube data to determine an appropriate power setting for the long term.

There’s the catch:

According to Edison

SCE’s “experiments” that supposedly show that 70% power is safe are what NRC won’t release to the public. The same NRC that, according to SCE,

SCE’s design specifications followed industry standards for compliance with NRC processes. In fact, SCE submitted two license amendments during the replacement steam generator review process, which the NRC approved.

Seems like there’s something wrong with industry standards and NRC approval.

I agree with Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Ed Markey’s request to the NRC chairman of 9 April 2013:

We are writing to request that you immediately confirm that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will take no action that could lead to any restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant before the Commission completes its comprehensive investigation and provides a full opportunity for public participation.

Although even that doesn’t go far enough. An NRC that by its own admission doesn’t release supposed safety evidence to the same public that would be affected by a damaged nuclear plant is a broken NRC that cannot be trusted to evaluate that information.