Southern California Edison\u2019s plan to restart San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station unit 2 by this summer may have been sent into a tailspin May 13 when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission\u2019s Atomic Safety & Licensing Board agreed to give the restart a full evidentiary hearing. San Onofre\u2019s \u201cunusual facts\u201d led the board to only apply its decision to this one case. \tWhile the board ruling is a setback, Edison is trying on a separate fast-track at the commission to win restart this summer. The utility plans to start and stop the nuclear reactor for five months at a time for a two-year period. That move is under consideration (Current, April 5, 2013). \tA regulatory staff review is also in the works\u2014separate from both. Staff formally requested more technical information from Edison for it to consider May 10. \tThe hearing does not necessarily have to take place before the commission authorizes a restart, according to commission chair Allison Macfarlane. She also said this week that it\u2019s unlikely for the commission to have any restart decision before mid-June. \tThe hearing petition, by Friends of the Earth, is attempting to have the operating owner of the plant demonstrate its detail before an administrative panel on the restart. The utility only noted that it\u2019s \u201ccontinuing its evaluation\u201d of the board decision. Edison was able to install new steam generators in 2010-11 in the facility without such a legal requirement. Those $670 million steam generators ended up with excessive wear, shutting down both units 2 and 3 in January 2012. \t\u201cWe conclude that until the tube degradation mechanism is fully understood, until reasonable assurance of safe operation of the replacement steam generators is demonstrated, and until there has been a rigorous NRC staff review appropriate for a licensing action, the operation of unit 2 would be outside the scope of its operating license\u201d because the replacement steam generator design is \u201cinconsistent\u201d with the design approved by the commission, the board ruled. \t\u201cThe [board] announced that the restart plan is an \u2018experiment\u2019,\u201d Damon Moglen, energy and climate director for Friends of the Earth stated. \tAs an \u201cexperiment,\u201d the board determined that a restart would allow the unit to operate beyond the scope of the existing license. \tTechnically, the board agreed that the steam generator replacement required a \u201clicense amendment\u201d\u2014not the more casual regulatory approval received for the change out by commission staff.