San Onofre Community Engagement Panel Meeting to Focus on Spent Fuel Storage Safety
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Sept. 9, 2021 — The San Onofre Community Engagement Panel will receive an update on an aspect of spent nuclear fuel storage called defense-in-depth at its third quarter meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 16. The panel first began exploring the subject at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2014 and has consistently returned to it ever since. The meeting will take place via Microsoft Teams video conference since Southern California Edison and CEP members continue to follow COVID-19 protocols for safety, which include physical distancing.
Defense-in-depth covers multiple areas of spent fuel storage safety, from design to fabrication to remediation. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines it as employing “layers of defense to protect against accidents and their effects to ensure the risk to the public is acceptably low.”
Next Thursday’s presentation will focus on operations, inspection and remediation. The SCE team at San Onofre has been instrumental in industry-leading efforts regarding spent fuel canister inspection and repair. Engineers at San Onofre and industry partners were recently recognized by the Nuclear Energy Institute for development of the metallic overlay canister repair method.
“SCE has recognized the spent fuel will remain stored on-site until a federal repository is developed. Because of that, we’ve made multiple enhancements to our fuel storage program that ensures long-term safety,” said Jerry Stephenson, SCE spent fuel storage engineering manager. “We look forward to sharing advancements in robotics that we will utilize during our inspections of the horizontal NUHOMS canisters we have deployed at SONGS.”
Jim Desmond, San Diego County Board of Supervisors and CEP member, will brief the panel on the recent successes of the Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now coalition and next steps for the organization. Desmond is a co-chair of the coalition, which encourages the federal government to solve the nation’s long-term spent fuel storage dilemma. The San Diego County board recently passed a resolution in support of the coalition.
The CEP will also receive updates on the dismantlement progress at San Onofre, including the work taking place inside the containment domes.
Members of the public can view the meeting video conference by first visiting SONGScommunity.com, where a link to the meeting is provided. Through the web page dedicated to the meeting, members of the public can register to provide comments during the meeting.
When SCE announced the retirement of San Onofre Units 2 and 3 in June 2013, it established the core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement to guide decommissioning.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE: EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.