Executive Insight, Generation, Nuclear

Leaked letter leads Sen. Boxer to call for probe of San Onofre nuclear plant

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is calling for a Department of Justice probe of Southern California Edison over the faulty parts problems that have plagued the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP report, Boxer, who is chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, obtained a 2004 letter from an SCE executive to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the firm that produced faulty components leading to a radiation leak at the nuclear power plant.

 

The letter suggests that SCE intentionally misled regulators and the public to avoid a costly inspection of San Onofre’s facilities. The AP reports that Boxer has turned the document over to the DOJ and other federal agencies for review.

A statement from SCE says the correspondence merely demonstrates “the type of careful oversight that SCE exercised during the replacement steam generator project and also served to establish our expectations of MHI.”

The letter, written by SCE Vice President Dwight E. Nunn reportedly indicates that Edison was aware the replacement steam generators did not meet the “like-for-like” standard the company used to justify the installation, according to the AP.