Nukewatch Quarterly Fall 2014
SAN DIEGO, California — On August 1, Southern California Edison released its plan for dismantling the two reactors at its San Onofre nuclear power facility beginning in 2016. Even with the spent radioactive fuel slated to remain onsite indefinitely, the process is projected to take twenty years and cost $4.4 billion, making it the most expensive decommissioning in the industry’s 70-year history.
According to the Associated Press, as the plan came out Edison CEO Ted Craver reassured investors that the company already has enough money on hand from its customers to pay for the project. A recent settlement negotiated by consumer advocacy group TURN and the Public Utilities Commission’s Office of Ratepayer Advocates relieved Edison’s customers of $1.5 billion of the total $4.7 billion the utility wanted to collect from them.
The decommissioning plan calls for spent nuclear fuel to be transferred from cooling pools to dry storage in steel canisters as early as 2019. Lower-level radioactive waste would be shipped to disposal sites in Texas and Utah. The San Onofre reactors have stood idle since 2012, when a radiation leak led operators to discover extensive damage to newly installed, defective steam generators. Southern California Edison decided in 2013 to permanently shutter the facility.
— AP, Aug. 2; Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2014