No San Onofre nuke startup decision until June at least –NRC Chair

Two more victories for anti-nuke activists: San Onofre restart decision pushed back at least until June, and webcasts of California Public Utilities Commission hearings going on right now.

Abby Sewell reported for the L.A. Times yesterday, Decision on San Onofre pushed back to June at the earliest,

The plant’s operator Southern California Edison had hoped at one point to have one of the plant’s two units operating by summer, but NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane made it clear that will not happen.

Macfarlane told reporters Tuesday after a speech, “You know, the process is very complicated now. Almost every day it gets a little more complicated…. Right now I can tell you a decision on restart won’t happen until the end of June, certainly after the middle of June.

“It may get pushed back later,” she said. “I don’t know.”

She didn’t say much about the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) decision to require NRC public hearings before any decision on restarting San Onofre, but she did say this:

“There are potential opportunities for public hearings,” she said. “At this point in time I know there is strong public sentiment for a public hearing prior to relicensing, and I understand the concerns the folks who want that have, but there’s multiple moving parts.”

So NRC has already backed off from its initial denial about public hearings and is now willing to consider them.

And two days ago Abby Sewell reported Groups continue push for video webcast of San Onofre hearings,

An initial round of hearings was set to begin Monday in a California Public Utilities Commission investigation of the costs to ratepayers from the San Onofre nuclear plant’s ongoing outage.

Activists were incensed that a CPUC administrative law judge ruled against allowing videotaping of the hearings, which are set to take place in San Francisco, far from the plant’s location in northern San Diego County.

Yesterday she could write:

Administrative judges initially angered activists by not allowing videotaping of the proceedings, but later agreed to post a webcast of the hearings.

So far, CPUC has yesterday’s hearings up in two parts, Part 1 and Part 2. They’re in a hokey format, not on YouTube or Vimeo, but at least they’re available. In Part 1, they put into the public record some documents from the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility and someone (couldn’t catch her name) continued cross-examining someone (unnamed) who maybe works for Southern California Edison. The apparent Socal Edison person mostly didn’t have the answers or documents requested. No wonder they don’t want to have real public hearings!