Operators of the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which has been shuttered for almost a year, continued Tuesday in their attempt to convince regulators it was safe to partially restart.
The meeting, held in Maryland and broadcast over the web, was more technical than the last one in Laguna Hills in November. Southern California Officials said they will allow them to safely restart part of the plant at partial power.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors, however, demanded a more detailed analysis through formal requests for additional information.
Inspectors asked for in-depth explanations of partiuclar nuances and functions of equations that predicted the thermodynamic environment inside the plant's steam generators—the site of a leak in January that shut the plant down all year.
Other requests included equations that calculated how long it took for a steam tube inside a generator to start to wear out, and how long from the start of wear until complete failure.
A lot of the regulators' questions surrounded the operational assessments, that is, the forensic studies of what happened to the generators from several independent manufacturers of nuclear plant components who sent consulting scientists to San Onofre in the wake of the leak.
Others questions were more clerical in nature. For example, regulators asked for a certain piece of information to be presented in graph form, rather than in a table.
Many of the subjects discussed were all but incomprehensible to the layman, which it why anti-nuclear activists who spoke at the meeting criticized the review process.
Gary Headrick of San Clemente Green, who spoke at the meeting via telephone, said the meetings should host independent experts chosen from the ranks of the anti-nuclear community, like consultant Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates, or someone from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
"[It] would give the public a level of confidence that we really don't have right now," he said.
A representative of the national environmental group Friends of the Earth mentioned that the anti-nuclear movement had a petition before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to have a formal hearing before a judge about whether Edison should have applied for a license amendment when it installed the new generators.
Regulators said at the Tuesday meeting they wouldn't be deciding whether to allow San Onofre to move forward until at least mid February, and perhaps longer.