Opponents, including the environmental group Friends of the Earth, contended that Edison executives were not forthright in how they characterized replacement steam generators installed in the reactor units in 2009 and 2010. They recently released a series of communications they believe demonstrate that Edison executives knew the generators were of a radically different design than their predecessors.
“We have long said that these reactors are too dangerous to operate and now Edison has agreed,” Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica said Friday morning. “The people of California now have the opportunity to move away from the failed promise of dirty and dangerous nuclear power and replace it with the safe and clean energy provided by the sun and the wind.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer also recently accused Edison of misleading the public and government officials about the new steam generators. She applauded the company’s decision to decommission the plant.
“I am greatly relieved that the San Onofre nuclear plant will be closed permanently. This nuclear plant had a defective redesign and could no longer operate as intended,” Boxer said. “I want to thank the community organizations that came forward with information which demonstrated that the plant redesign presented a great risk to the public. Now that the San Onofre nuclear plant will be permanently shut down, it is essential that this nuclear plant be safely decommissioned and does not become a continuing liability for the community.”
Boxer’s colleague, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, agreed that shutting down the plant was necessary.
“While this was a difficult decision — and substitute power may be more expensive for California ratepayers — I firmly believe this is the right thing to do for the more than 7 million Californians who live within 50 miles of San Onofre,” Feinstein said. “There was too much uncertainty in restarting San Onofre at this time, and I commend Southern California Edison for selecting the safest option for Southern California.”