Edison International President and CEO Pedro J. Pizarro Letter to Rep. Mike Levin
On Monday, March 30, Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49) sent a letter to President and CEO Pedro J. Pizarro, Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison, regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a request for more information on a wastewater release that occurred on March 25.
Below is Pedro's response to the congressman. A PDF of the letter is available here.
April 2, 2020
The Honorable Mike Levin
U.S. House of Representatives
1626 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Levin,
Thank you for your letter regarding Southern California Edison’s work at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent wastewater release that occurred at the plant on March 25.
At SCE, the safety and well-being of workers, customers and the public remains the top priority, and SCE continues taking actions to maintain its operations and provide safe and reliable electric service to its customers during this pandemic.
SCE brings this same focus on employee and community safety to the work at San Onofre. Fuel transfer operations (FTO) were paused on March 23 and additional training and guidance was provided to the teams on the SONGS-specific pandemic protocol and Governor Newsom’s “Safer at Home” order before resuming FTO on March 24. Some of the immediate actions SCE has taken to protect employee health and safety include following CDC guidelines, such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of work stations, including before and after shift changes; limiting physical sharing of documents; and asking employees to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the site. Employees able to telework are doing so. Travel restrictions are also in place for employees and contractors on site, including personal travel.
Deconstruction work was curtailed until SONGS leadership determined it can be safely resumed under the SONGS-specific pandemic protocol, which protects critical workforce. Only projects permitted under the protocol have been restarted, and those limited projects are associated with waste removal, such as asbestos in the containment building (the domes), and on-site preparations for transporting the Unit 1 reactor pressure vessel to a storage site in Utah.
Regarding the wastewater release, the treatment plant at the site has been taken out of operation, and plant engineers are working to identify a cause. In response to the event, personnel at the site took corrective actions to isolate the plant, and made the proper notifications to local, state and federal agencies. The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health determined there was no impact to the public from this incident. All sanitary facilities for employees at the plant remain operational.
I have asked Doug Bauder, SCE vice president and chief nuclear officer, to provide additional information on your specific questions about SONGS’ COVID-19 response and wastewater release; you can expect the additional information by April 13.
Thank you again for your interest in these matters. Many of our San Onofre team members live in the communities surrounding the plant, and I appreciate their dedication to safe operations and commitment to the safety and well-being of their families and neighbors.
Pedro J. Pizarro
President and Chief Executive Officer