SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Friday that it will decide in late April or May whether to allow Southern California Edison to restart one of two reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
In a timeline posted on its website, the agency said it would notify the Atomic Safety Licensing Board and other interested parties in late April of its intent to issue a decision on whether to restart Unit 2 at the power plant in northern San Diego County.
The decision would then come down in five to 30 days, according to the NRC.
Unit 2 was undergoing scheduled maintenance in January 2012 when a small leak was discovered in the other reactor, Unit 3, which was subsequently shut down. No one was hurt in the incident.
Neither reactor has operated since.
An investigation determined that vibrations caused steam generator tubes to degrade faster than expected. The steam generators in Unit 3 had only been operating for one year at the time. For Unit 2 -- the one SCE wants to put back in operation -- the generators had been working for about a year and a half.
Opponents of restart plans said federal regulators should put Edison through a license amendment process because the steam generators that failed were of a different design than their predecessors.
The NRC said it would hold a public meeting in Southern California before a decision is made. Another meeting is already scheduled for Feb. 12 in San Juan Capistrano, in Orange County.
"The NRC will not allow the plant to restart until we are satisfied that the licensee can operate the plant without undue risk to public health and safety," the agency said on its website.
The NRC said it was reviewing actions the utility, which operates the plants and owns most of it, has taken to correct problems in Unit 2. The commission noted that SCE has not completed fixes in Unit 3.
San Diego Gas & Electric owns 20 percent of the nuclear plant and receives one-fifth of the power it produces.
A pedestrian was found dead on Interstate 5 around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. California Highway Patrol say a car struck and killed the man, leaving him to die in the freeway.
The San Diego Fire Department was called to terminal 1 at the San Diego International Airport, Saturday afternoon for reports of a fire.
A sailor has died after he was struck by a helicopter blade at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.
Slightly warmer and drier today after temperature records were broken overnight. Daytime temperatures expected to be 5- 10 degrees below seasonal norms.
The head of the federal agency that grants citizenship and immigration benefits said Friday that he had a message for anyone who considers his new mission statement anti-immigrant: "A thousand times no."