Washington, D.C. -- Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement in response to reports that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff have issued a proposed finding related to the restart of the damaged San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Senator Boxer said: "The NRC staff proposal, which could pave the way for the restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant before the investigations of the crippled plant are completed, is dangerous and premature. It makes absolutely no sense to even consider taking any steps to reopen San Onofre until these investigations look at every aspect of reopening the plant given the failure of the tubes that carry radioactive water. In addition, the damaged plant is located in an area at risk of earthquake and tsunami. With eight million people living within 50 miles of this plant, the staff proposal is beyond irresponsible."

Rep. Markey said: "Today, the NRC showed blatant disregard for the safety of tens of millions of people who live near the San Onofre nuclear plant. It is absurd for NRC to say that Southern California Edison's license amendment is entirely unrelated to a future decision to allow the restart of the reactor; it is like saying that giving someone a driver's license has nothing to do with allowing them to drive a car."