Regular Meeting on Environmental Stewardship

Mar 23, 2023
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Key Takeaways

The CEP received an update on community organizing efforts around spent fuel from San Diego County Supervisor and Spent Fuel Solutions coalition Co-Chair Jim Desmond. New coalition Co-Chair and Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was among the elected officials welcomed to the CEP following the fall 2022 election cycle. Supervisor Desmond provided a recap on a webinar held the morning of 23 March on international best practices for deep geologic repositories for spent fuel. Panelists represented the Canadian, Finnish, and Swedish spent fuel programs. Here in the US, the Department of Energy increased its funding opportunity to $26 million with awards expected later this spring. Representative Mike Levin has a new co-chair of his Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus, Representative Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee.

SONGS Decommissioning Director Vince Bilovsky provided an update on dismantlement work underway at SONGS. The process for cutting up and packaging Greater Than Class C waste is slated for completion in late summer. Bilovsky explained that, more broadly, the current phase of dismantlement is halfway done and on track for completion in late 2028.

Ron Pontes, SONGS Environmental General Manager, reviewed data on recent wastewater releases from the site, including some that exceeded environmental standards. He detailed steps taken to restore compliance. He also provided a refresh on the process used to clean up and release wastewater, all within regulatory limits established by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. SCE provides 48-hour advance notice of releases through the SONGS website.

Pontes also reviewed changes to the footprint around the plant site within SCE’s control, including the “exclusion area boundary” and “controlled area boundary.” Unchanged is the security profile at the plant. Pontes explained that with all spent fuel at SONGS in passive dry cask storage, the number of “emergency action levels” are down from 82 to three, with zero that result in radiological material leaving the site boundary.


  • Watch recordings of SFS coalition webinars on various topics related to offsite storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel.
  • Learn more about upcoming public workshops hosted by the UC Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute to review the status of the Wheeler North Reef Mitigation Project and the San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project.
  • Visit the SONGS community engagement page to stay up to date on the CEP, sign up for public walking tours, and request a speaker for your next civic group meeting.
  • Review reports on the environmental compliance history for SONGS.

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