March 25, 2019

Representative Levin Responds to NRC Enforcement Decision Regarding Fuel-Loading Incident at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) responded to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) enforcement decision regarding the August 2018 fuel-loading incident at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), as well as the agency’s findings and observations of recent inspections at the plant.

Earlier this year, Levin led a letter to the NRC raising concerns over its investigation into apparent violations at SONGS. The letter requested that the NRC adopt appropriate enforcement actions that ensure involved parties change the processes that led to the apparent violations, as well as any processes that could lead to future safety violations.

“With millions of families living near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and trillions of dollars in economic activity taking place in the region, the safety and security of the radioactive spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre is a paramount concern of mine,” said Representative Levin. “The NRC’s enforcement decision is a step toward holding responsible parties accountable for serious safety violations at the plant, but the agency has not done enough to answer all of the legitimate questions about spent fuel safety at San Onofre. I strongly urge the NRC to consider additional steps to prevent future safety violations, and I hope that its ongoing investigation into the gouging of Holtec’s canisters is thorough and conducted with integrity. Ultimately, the safest thing for our region is to permanently move the nuclear waste at SONGS to a site that is not surrounded by millions of people and threatened by earthquakes and sea level rise, and I will continue to work with local and federal stakeholders on long-term solutions toward that goal.”

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.