San Onofre Community Engagement Panel to Discuss Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage, Safety

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 15, 2019 — The San Onofre Community Engagement Panel (CEP) will take a closer look at various aspects of the spent nuclear fuel storage system deployed at the San Onofre nuclear plant at its quarterly meeting Aug. 22 in Laguna Hills.

Given the importance of safely managing spent fuel until it is retrieved by the federal government, the CEP has focused on the defense-in-depth concept relating to San Onofre’s spent fuel storage during a number of meetings in the past five years. Defense-in-depth, as defined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, means having multiple layers of protection against accidents and their effects to ensure the risk to the public is acceptably low. San Onofre’s spent fuel canisters have a design life of 60 years with a service life of potentially more than 100 years through programmatic monitoring and maintenance.

“Until the federal government develops a credible, long-term solution for spent nuclear fuel, we need to ensure the fuel is safe on site, not just at San Onofre but across the country. That means using robust stainless steel canisters designed for the conditions at San Onofre, along with layers of careful inspections and monitoring,” said David Victor, CEP chair. “In the case of San Onofre, SCE has been responsive to input from the local communities by, for example, employing special fabrication techniques such as laser peening as part of its defense-in-depth strategy. What’s next is to understand the monitoring systems and other layers of defense needed to ensure the fuel is safe.”

The CEP has a page dedicated to defense-in-depth on the SONGS Community website.

There will also be a presentation updating the current status of spent fuel transfers from wet to dry storage at San Onofre. Since fuel transfer operations restarted July 15, two canisters have been safely downloaded into the dry storage facility. Forty-two remain to be transferred.

The regular quarterly meeting will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Laguna Hills Community Center,
25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills. Staffed information booths will be open from 4:30-5:30 p.m. There will be a public comment period, and the meeting will be livestreamed via

SCE, majority owner of the San Onofre nuclear plant, announced in June 2013 that it had retired San Onofre Units 2 and 3 and had begun the process to decommission the facility. SCE has established core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement to guide decommissioning.

For more information about San Onofre, visit and follow SCE on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact: John Dobken, (626) 302-2255

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.