SCE Submits Event Report to Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Southern California Edison has notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) through an event report (available here) about an issue associated with the vehicle used to transport spent nuclear fuel to the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) at the San Onofre nuclear plant. This issue was identified as part of the ongoing, thorough review of all spent fuel handling, loading and transport activities at SONGS in response to the Aug. 3, 2018 canister downloading event.

As the spent fuel transport vehicle is driven to the ISFSI, it passes various stationary objects, such as light and fence posts. The vehicle must maintain the proper center of gravity, as well as a certain distance from those objects so they don’t become a hazard should a significant seismic event occur at the moment when passing those objects. During its review SCE found that in some instances, the vehicle was closer to the stationary objects than transfer procedures allow. However, SCE’s preliminary analysis indicates the hazard potential is fully mitigated by the design features of this vehicle, a large hydraulic crawler.

While the San Onofre team continues to analyze this issue, out of an abundance of caution SCE decided to notify the NRC now, and follow-up with additional information at a later date.

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. Transfers will resume only after SCE is satisfied that our team has successfully demonstrated fuel transfer can proceed utilizing the new procedures, training and technology, and the NRC has an opportunity to inspect practice runs and has reviewed re-start plans.

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.