Energy Secretary Granholm and Rep. Levin Visit SONGS

Southern California Edison welcomed Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) to SONGS on June 9 to announce important developments in the Department of Energy’s consent-based siting process for the interim storage of spent fuel nuclear storage facilities and the re-introduction of a new spent fuel prioritization bill.

During her remarks, Secretary Granholm announced $26 million in funding for groups of university, nonprofit, and private sector partners interested in collaborating on the DOE’s community-centered approach to storing and disposing of spent nuclear fuel.

SCE President and CEO Steve Powell thanked the Secretary for the DOE’s renewed work on offsite storage. He thanked Rep. Levin for his work in this area, notably to form the congressional Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Caucus that, today, is co-chaired by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN).

“Our decommissioning of SONGS is well underway; however, it cannot be completed, and the site restored until we are able to relocate the spent nuclear fuel to a federally licensed offsite facility,” said Powell. “We are encouraged that the Department of Energy is working to find a much-needed national solution for spent nuclear fuel. While there is much work to do, this action to explore consent-based siting of interim storage facilities is an important first step.”

Federal legislation is required to complement interim storage with an integrated spent fuel management program that includes a permanent solution for spent fuel, such as a deep geologic repository. Powell acknowledged Dan Stetson, co-chair of the SONGS Community Engagement Panel, for his work as part of a nationwide team of stakeholders working on policy principles needed for a comprehensive and durable spent fuel program.

Powell also recognized the two co-chairs of the Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition, San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley and their work to bring about awareness to this issue and advocate for solutions.

In March 2021 SCE released its strategic plan for the relocation of SONGS spent fuel to an offsite storage or disposal facility. The strategies are outlined in a three-volume set: the Action Plan, Strategic Plan and Conceptual Transportation Plan.”

View the full news conference below.

News Conference