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Difficulties Arise in Decommissioning of San Onofre Nuclear Plant

The decision to decommission the San Onofre power plant came in June 2013, after a radiation leak shut down the plant in January 2012. The process of decommissioning the plant, however, might take decades.
May 7, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Ed Joyce has provided consistent reporting on the ongoing decommissioning saga of the San Onofre nuclear plant, located in San Diego County of Southern California.

The most recent blast of news involved the lack of public comment at a hearing of the Southern California Edison Community Engagement Panel. The hearing will discuss the storage of nuclear waste, which, according to Joyce, "will be stored at the seaside location indefinitely, since there is no national nuclear waste repository."

Joyce also shares the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's options for storing highly radioactive nuclear waste at the facility, from the commission's website: "the NRC states that its current storage options — steel and concrete casks and spent fuel pools — 'provide adequate protection of the public health and safety and the environment. Therefore there is no pressing safety or security reason to mandate earlier transfer of fuel from pool to cask.'"

In April, Joyce also reported on growing opposition to a deal between Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric and ratepayer advocacy groups to stick utility customers with the $3.3 billion bill for the decommissioning.

"Some of the $3.3 billion for replacement power has already been collected in SCE and SDG&E utility bills starting in February 2012 and, under the proposed agreement, would continue through January 31, 2021."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 in KPCC
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