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Southern California Edison Responds To NRC Technical Questions

Southern California Edison (SCE) has submitted additional information requested by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue discussion of the steps necessary to restart San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2 and to address current compliance with the plant’s technical specifications.

The new information builds on the comprehensive analysis and restart proposal SCE submitted to the NRC in October 2012 in response to an NRC Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL). The submittal also provides information about how SCE anticipates addressing ongoing steam generator analysis and interim measures beyond the operating period proposed in SCE’s response to the CAL. SCE has proposed restarting Unit 2 at 70 percent power for five months to prevent the conditions that caused excessive tube wear in San Onofre’s steam generators.

The NRC has asked 32 detailed questions about the Unit 2 restart plan and is expected to pose more questions, known as Requests for Additional Information (RAIs). On Monday, SCE submitted a response to the NRC’s RAI 32 posed on Dec. 26, 2012, regarding compliance with San Onofre technical specifications requiring the ability to maintain steam generator tube integrity in the full range of normal operating conditions.

“This question and answer process is an important part of safety-based technical solutions in the nuclear industry, and it strengthens our ability to communicate to all stakeholders the safety principles and proven industry operating experience that the Unit 2 restart plan was built upon,” said Pete Dietrich, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of SCE.

SCE’s independent global experts have already completed several operational assessments for Unit 2. In the RAI 32 response, SCE proposes to supplement those with an additional evaluation by March 15, 2013 to demonstrate that structural integrity can be met for Unit 2 at 100 percent rated thermal power. Even with this supplemental analysis, SCE intends to only operate at 70 percent power for five months before completing another set of thorough inspections.

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