SCE to Begin Dismantlement of San Onofre Nuclear Plant

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 22, 2020 — Dismantlement begins next month for a more than 40-year fixture of the Southern California landscape, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, a process that will continue for the next eight years. Dismantlement involves the removal of buildings, containment domes and other above-grade structures associated with Units 2 and 3 in compliance with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements, as well as the partial removal of offshore conduits, which are the large pipes that brought and discharged ocean cooling water to the plant, and the removal of offshore buoys and anchors.

Southern California Edison today mailed an Advance Notice of Deconstruction to 12,000 residents in the communities within a five-mile radius of the plant. The notice provides key timeframes for the initial dismantlement activity at San Onofre and resources to learn more about overall decommissioning of the site.

Following a rigorous planning and environmental review process, SCE received a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission last October. The permit clears the way for dismantlement of plant structures and decontamination of the site. Consistent with a decision last March by the California State Lands Commission, SCE sent a 30-day advance notice of the start of deconstruction activities, currently anticipated to be no earlier than Feb. 22, to residents living within a five-mile radius of San Onofre.

“We’re going to be a good neighbor throughout the decommissioning process, and that means providing timely, usable information to the community and to the people who use the recreational resources next door to us,” said Doug Bauder, SCE vice president and chief nuclear officer for San Onofre. “We will be providing quarterly updates going forward, so folks are aware of the work that is happening on site.”

Initial work will take place within the plant’s boundaries and should have minimal impact on the surrounding recreational areas. The table below provides an overview of this work:

Location Activity Description Expected Duration
North and east plant site parking lots
  • Mobilize and establish staging areas for materials and equipment
  • Install temporary trailers and related utilities
6 months
Railroad Spur Area (north end of site)
  • Perform site preparatory activities and traffic control for transport of large components by rail
3 months

Units 2 & 3 Containment Buildings (the domes)

  • Perform preparatory activities for installation of Containment access openings and remove asbestos-containing materials
8 months
Site wide
  • Completion of initial site characterization work
24 months











The Notice of Deconstruction also lists contact information for the Deconstruction Liaison, including an email address ( and a toll-free number (800-332-3612) for the public to ask questions or submit comments to SCE during dismantlement activities.

Plans and progress during the dismantlement process will be available to the public on the SONGS Community website. Public walking tours of the facility will continue and are available regularly. The public is also encouraged to attend quarterly meetings of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel (CEP) for updates on dismantlement.

View the video below to learn more:

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.