Representative Levin Statement on NRC Decision to Allow Spent Nuclear Fuel Loading at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

May 21, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) issued the following statement on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision to allow Southern California Edison to resume spent nuclear fuel loading at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS):

“The safety of my constituents is my top priority, and there are many lingering questions about the safety of spent nuclear fuel loading at SONGS that have not been fully addressed. I called for a full-time NRC inspector at the facility because Southern California Edison proved after the ‘near-miss’ canister incident that we need a higher level of transparency, accountability, and oversight. Until a full-time NRC inspector is in place, I will remain strongly concerned about the loading of spent nuclear fuel at this site.”

“Furthermore, it is troubling that the NRC’s decision relied on data provided by Edison, a company with an incentive to resume loading as quickly as possible. The NRC’s decision-making process requires a greater degree of independence to best serve the public interest.”

Last month, Representative Levin called on the NRC to institute “the highest possible level of oversight and transparency” at SONGS, including a full-time inspector at the facility. The NRC has not responded.

One of Representative Levin’s first actions as a Member of Congress was to launch a task force made up of local stakeholders and experts to address the safety challenges at SONGS and formulate federal policy recommendations to address the hazardous waste. The task force is led by Rear Admiral Leendert “Len” Hering Sr., USN (Ret), and former NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko.