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Nrc To Discuss 2008 Performance Assessment For San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:00am

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold two meetings in Dana Point, Ca., on May 7, to discuss the agencys 2008 assessment of safety performance for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The plant, operated by the Southern California Edison Co. , is located near San Clemente, Ca.

The NRC staff will hold an informal open house between 4 and 6 p.m. during which they will be available to answer questions from the public on the safety performance of San Onofre, as well as the NRC's role in ensuring safe plant operation.

From 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., the staff will meet with officials from Southern California Edison Co. , to discuss the agency's 2008 safety assessment of San Onofre. The NRC staff will also be available to answer questions from the public after the formal portion of the meeting is concluded.

Both meetings will be held at the Doubletree Guest Suites Doheny Beach, Trestles Room, 34402 Pacific Coast Hwy. in Dana Point.

The NRC continually reviews the performance of San Onofre and the nation's other commercial nuclear power facilities, NRC Region IV Administrator Elmo E. Collins said. These meetings will provide an opportunity for a discussion of our annual assessment of safety performance with the company and with local officials and residents who live near the plant.

A letter sent from the NRC Region IV office to plant officials addresses the performance of the plant during 2008 and will serve as the basis for the meeting with the licensee. It is available on the NRC web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/sano_2008q4.pdf.

Although SONGS Units 2 and 3 operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety and fully met all cornerstone objectives, the NRC is concerned that continuing performance problems are not being effectively addressed, Collins said in a letter to the licensee.

Therefore, in addition to the normal detailed inspections performed at every site, the NRC plans to conduct additional inspections during 2009 to verify that weaknesses in human performance and problem identification resolution have been corrected and the licensee has taken appropriate actions to address problems with some electrical equipment.

These inspections are performed by two NRC Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant and by inspection specialists from the Region IV Office in Arlington, Texas. Current performance information for San Onofre Unit 2 is available on the NRC web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/SANO2/sano2_chart.html. Current performance information for Unit 3 is available at: http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/SANO3/sano3_chart.html.

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