Washington, DC - Today, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Dr. Gregory Jaczko, calling on the NRC to review and report on the safety conditions at the San Onofre nuclear plant. Problems were recently discovered related to tubes that carry radioactive water at the facility, which is located in San Clemente, California. Senator Boxer has asked the NRC to assess the conditions at the plant to determine if further action is needed.

The text of the letter is pasted below:

February 8, 2012

The Honorable Gregory Jaczko
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Dear Chairman Jaczko:
I write to ask the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to comprehensively review the safety of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station after recent problems were discovered at the facility, and to ensure that all potential safety issues are promptly addressed.

I am concerned about recent media reports regarding dozens of tubes carrying radioactive water that have been degrading at an unusual rate. According to those media reports, there is "extensive wear on tubes that carry radioactive water in a steam generator. The tubes were installed less than two years ago..." The reports also state that "the extent of the tube damage was not yet clear..." in the facility's Unit 2 reactor.

In addition, the NRC recently reported that the facility shut down after a radiation leak was discovered in the Unit 3 reactor's steam generator tubes. The media also reported on a worker who fell into a spent fuel pool in January and an ammonia leak that forced an evacuation of workers at the facility in November.

I ask the NRC to thoroughly assess the conditions at the San Onofre plant to determine what further investigation and action is required at this time, and whether similar actions may be needed at other nuclear facilities.

Please provide me with a written summary of NRC's review of the issues that have recently arisen at the facility, NRC's efforts to address those issues, what additional steps need to be taken to resolve any unaddressed problems, and a timeline that shows when each action is expected to be started and completed. Contact Terrance Horner or Grant Cope (202/224-8832) with any questions. Please deliver the requested information by February 15, 2012.



Barbara Boxer