Activist Group Voluntarily Withdraws Appeal

An attorney for the Samuel Lawrence Foundation filed paperwork Aug. 2 with the California 2nd District Court of Appeal requesting its appeal be dismissed. The court has granted the dismissal request.

The Foundation was appealing the final judgment by Superior Court of Los Angeles Judge Mitchell Beckloff in October denying a challenge to the coastal development permit issued by the California Coastal Commission for the dismantlement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The Foundation filed an appeal to that ruling in December.

Unit 2 SFP 2
The Unit 2 spent fuel pool at SONGS.

The Foundation’s lawsuit centered in large part on a notion that at least one of the spent fuel pools at SONGS should be maintained in case a dry fuel storage canister would need to be re-packaged. Attorneys for Southern California Edison successfully argued that no decommissioning nuclear plant has ever been required to maintain a pool for such a purpose, and that there were other methods to deal with a degraded canister. Indeed, the decommissioning of SONGS could not proceed if a pool needed to be maintained. Read more here.

Ultimately, the judge wrote in denying the Foundation’s petition “…substantial evidence shows—even after dismantling the spent fuel pools—safe storage and transport alternatives for SNF (spent nuclear fuel) exist.”

Dismantlement progress

08-18-2022 U2 Gantry Crane Cut Up w Excavator_MP18175
An excavator begins dismantlement work on the Unit 2 Turbine Building gantry crane. The crane was lowered to the deck Aug. 17.

The 2019 CDP allowed for the dismantlement and decontamination of the SONGS site to proceed. Since issuing a Notice of Deconstruction to local residents in January 2020, the work to remove the above-grade structures at SONGS has made tremendous progress. In 2021 alone, 27 buildings and structures were removed from the site. To date, more than 128 million pounds of material has been shipped off-site, mostly by rail.

This work is proceeding under our decommissioning principles of safety, stewardship and engagement.

(Posted Aug. 26, 2022)