Regular Meeting on Environmental Stewardship: Wheeler North Reef and San Dieguito Wetlands

May 19, 2022
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Key Takeaways

SONGS is ramping back up to full-scope dismantlement work after a pause following an injury in April. The CEP was briefed on new measures put in place to bolster safety, which is vitally important to the workforce and the local communities. One measure of progress in the decommissioning is in removing material from the site. SONGS has shipped about 100 million pounds of material offsite. By 2028 more than a billion pounds of material will leave.

The Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now coalition is helping us get ourselves organized. That work here locally resonates with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s recent visit to SONGS; Secretary Granholm emphasized that the Department of Energy (DOE) is serious about making progress on solving the spent fuel problem. We need to help DOE stay focused and we need allies in other communities to help us organize, politically, to get the needed changes in federal law to make long term solutions to the spent fuel problem more feasible.

The central topic was environmental stewardship, including two SONGS marine mitigation projects that SCE manages to offset impacts on the natural environment that were created by the once-through seawater cooling system for Units 2 and 3. These are the 373-acre Wheeler North artificial kelp reef located off San Clemente and the 150-acre San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project near Del Mar. Both are performing similar to natural systems. According to U.C. Santa Barbara scientists who monitor the projects, the reef is meeting performance expectations, but the wetlands has yet to meet all standards and receive mitigation credits. More research is under way at the wetlands to figure out why performance is not up to snuff.

The Greater-Than-Class-C waste storage campaign is underway. GTCC is a type of low-level radioactive waste that, like spent fuel, is stored onsite because no federal repository is available. SONGS had one canister of GTCC waste from Unit 1 and is adding 12 more from Units 2 and 3.

In November, SCE inspected two spent fuel canisters in the NUHOMS horizontal dry storage system, and the results were good. The canisters were dusty but otherwise looked like they did when they were entered into service in the early 2000s. Details will be provided at an upcoming CEP meeting that will focus on defense-in-depth for dry storage of spent fuel.

CEP Meeting Video


The May 19 Community Engagement Panel (CEP) meeting will be conducted via Microsoft Teams as Southern California Edison and CEP members work to reduce COVID-19 exposure through actions that align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on physical distancing.

Members of the public will be able to listen and watch the meeting, as well as participate in a public comment period.

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