Calling its plans \u201cconservative,\u201d Southern California Edison made its case to federal regulators Nov. 30 to temporarily restart San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station\u2019s unit 2. \u201cWe\u2019re satisfied it\u2019s safe,\u201d said Pete Dietrich, Edison chief nuclear officer. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials appeared skeptical. They probed the utility\u2019s decision-making processes. The federal regulators asked, for instance, why the $670 million installation of new steam generators--later found to be faulty--was not considered a \u201cdesign change?\u201d Such a designation would require a more formal federal review. Premature wear in the nearly new steam generators for units 2 and 3 caused the utility to shut down the nuclear plant in January. In its written filing to federal regulators, dubbed \u201cSONGS Excellence 2012,\u201d Edison engineers explained the unusual steam generator tube-to-tube wear inside the nuclear plant. It was caused by \u201cfluid elastic instability,\u201d noted the utility. By reducing the power level to 70 percent in the planned trial start of unit 2, Edison told federal regulators that the instability wouldn\u2019t be an issue due to reduced velocity and improved \u201csteam quality,\u201d which has a lower temperature. Unit 3 has no prospects of restart at this time. Friday night\u2019s public NRC meeting, attended by hundreds, marks a change in federal willingness to open its nuclear power plant regulatory process. The San Onofre outage, the potential for 3-D sonic seismic tests at both San Onofre and the Diablo Canyon nuclear plants, as well as Pacific Gas & Electric\u2019s plan to extend Diablo\u2019s license for another two decades, have brought out into the open the usually walled off nuclear commission. This year, meetings on these issues have not only been public but so popular that there\u2019s been standing room only. Edison noted that the former steam generators from San Onofre are set to be sent to Utah for decommissioning. The more radically radioactive reactor housing for unit 1 remains on site at San Onofre. Edison was prohibited from shipping the vessel by land or sea. It is considered temporarily housed until a long-term radioactive waste dump is developed by the federal government.