Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is requesting the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Southern California Edison \u201cto see if there\u2019s any kind of willful misconduct\u201d in its process of installing steam generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. \tShe also asked the California Public Utilities Commission to get involved. The CPUC is \u201ctaking it very seriously,\u201d including why the utility didn\u2019t provide state regulators with information discovered by the senator, said a Boxer senior adviser May 28. \tAt the federal level, if the Justice Department finds Edison made \u201cfalse statements to the federal government\u201d through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission\u2019s regulatory process, \u201cit\u2019s a felony with serious penalties,\u201d said the adviser. \t\u201cAt no time\u201d did Edison \u201cseek to mislead the NRC,\u201d over the new steam generator design, the utility stated. \tBoxer alleged that communications in 2004 between Edison and steam generator manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reveal the new $670 million generators were not a \u201clike-for-like\u201d replacement for the old ones. She said Edison claimed they were \u201clike-for-like\u201d to enable the utility to avoid a full hearing on the installation, in violation of the federal commission code. \t I In its denial of the allegations, Edison said that back in 2004, it \u201ctook note of the care that would be needed during the design phase of the project, in part because of differences between the new and old units.\u201d The utility added the differences \u201cwere determined as being insufficient to place the project outside of the parameters of the NRC\u2019s section 50.59 regulation, which is sometimes erroneously described as a \u2018like-for-like\u2019 provision.\u201d \t\u201cEdison acts as if it\u2019s no big deal,\u201d Boxer countered. The question of whether the utility aimed to avoid a full evidentiary hearing at the federal level is a result of its plan to restart unit 2 of the nuclear plant at 70 percent capacity for up to two years. Friends of the Earth has pressed the commission to hold a full hearing before restart. The commission\u2019s internal Atomic Safety & Licensing Board granted that petition May 13 (Current, May 17, 2013). There\u2019s a staff level proceeding on the issue too, and the commission\u2019s Inspector General is also investigating. A separate fast-track request for unit 2\u2019s restart is underway. At the state level, regulators held hearings May 13-17 to help determine whether ratepayers should continue to pay for San Onofre. Commission chair Allison Macfarlane indicated that all of these do not have to be completed prior to making a restart decision. She said that could be determined by the end of June. Boxer is pushing strongly for all hearings, investigations, and staff work to be complete before a restart determination is made. She cited the safety of the 8 million people living within 50 miles of the facility. Edison\u2019s claimed before federal regulators that a lower capacity restart reduces the steam\u2019s chance of damaging the steam generators. \u201cWe take very seriously our responsibility to ensure we protect public health and safety, \u201dstated Pete Dietrich, Edison senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. \u201cThat\u2019s like saying, if you have a problem with your brakes, just drive slow,\u201d Boxer said.