SCE Requests Additional Supporting Analysis for Aspect of Transfer Process

On Saturday, Southern California Edison notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it has directed its vendor, Holtec, to perform an analysis covering a short-duration movement in the canister downloading process. This issue was identified as part of the ongoing, thorough review of all spent fuel handling, loading and transport activities at San Onofre nuclear plant in response to the Aug. 3, 2018 canister downloading event.

The Vertical Cask Transporter (VCT) is a mobile gantry crane that is used to transport and download spent fuel canisters into the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) enclosure. When the VCT lifts a canister off of the HI-TRAC transporter, the canister is suspended by crane rigging for a short time before a lateral seismic restraint is secured around the canister.  After the VCT reaches the enclosure into which the canister will be downloaded, the lateral seismic restraint is removed to allow downloading. While all applicable rigging and downloading procedures are followed, a supporting seismic analysis should be developed for these short duration periods in the process where the canisters are transitioned to rigging. SCE has directed Holtec to perform this analysis.

As stated in the notification, no seismic event occurred during fuel transfer operations and all 29 spent fuel canisters were successfully transferred.

The transfer of spent nuclear fuel from pools to dry cask storage has been on hold since the Aug. 3 event. Fuel transfers will resume only after SCE is satisfied that the related activities and oversight have been appropriately improved through demonstrated use of the new procedures, training and technology implemented since Aug. 3, and the NRC has an opportunity to inspect practice runs and has reviewed re-start plans.

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

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