Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, has requested the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a California utility company and discern whether executives lied to federal regulators about a recent radiation leak.
Mrs. Boxer, in a letter to the Justice Department, asked for federal agents to look into an equipment swap between the San Onofre nuclear power plant and Southern California Edison, The Associated Press reported. She said a 2004 letter from Edison's senior executive "leads me to believe that Edison intentionally misled the public and regulators" to escape a review of four replacement steam generators, the AP reported. Specifically, company executive recognized in their 2004 letter that the replacement generators weren't "like-for-like" and differed in key aspects. Mrs. Boxer suggested that's an admission of wrongdoing, AP reported.
It's "evidence of misrepresentation" and suggests the company didn't abide by "like-for-like" standards, she said, as AP reported.
The plant at San Onofre — which installed the generators — did leak a small amount of radiation in 2012 and hasn't produced electricity since, AP said. The company now is seeking permission from federal authorities to start up operations again, at a reduced capacity that would not lead to more leaks, AP said.
Mrs. Boxer, who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, tapped the Justice Department in response to this request and asked for agents to decide if Edison "engaged in willful wrongdoing," AP reported.
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