SCE Seeks State Coastal Commission Approval to Expand Interim Storage of Used Nuclear Fuel at San Onofre Nuclear Plant
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Feb. 23, 2015 — Southern California Edison (SCE) has asked the California Coastal Commission to amend the company's Coastal Development Permit so SCE can expand the interim used nuclear fuel storage facility at the San Onofre nuclear plant.
In an application filed with the commission, SCE notes that the existing storage facility approved in 2001 will soon reach capacity. SCE anticipates a need for up to 80 more steel-and-concrete-encased canisters, a technology known as dry storage. About two-thirds of San Onofre's used fuel is currently stored on site in steel-lined, concrete storage pools known as wet storage; about one-third is already in dry storage.
"Local community leaders and a wide range of stakeholders in California have told us they want San Onofre's used nuclear fuel moved to dry storage as expeditiously as possible," said Chris Thompson, SCE vice president of Decommissioning.
"We want to be responsive to that preference while continuing to safely manage this fuel until the federal government does its job and opens a used nuclear fuel repository." He noted that state approval to expand San Onofre's Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, which currently holds 51 canisters, is required before SCE can complete the transfer to dry storage in 2019, as planned.
SCE has selected below-ground dry fuel storage technology provided by Holtec International for San Onofre. The concrete monolith that will house the dry storage canisters will be below ground. The robust design exceeds California earthquake requirements and protects against hazards such as fire or tsunamis. Dry storage of spent nuclear fuel is a proven technology used for almost three decades in the U.S.
SCE announced in June 2013 that it would retire San Onofre Units 2 and 3.
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 nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.