Southern California Edison Statement on Spent Nuclear Fuel Canister
Media Contact: Liese Mosher, (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 10, 2018 — Southern California Edison has directed its contractor, Holtec, to take corrective actions, including additional training, after evaluating performance errors discovered during the loading of a spent nuclear fuel canister on Aug. 3 into dry cask storage at the San Onofre nuclear plant. At no point during this incident was there a risk to employee or public safety, and immediate lessons learned have already been integrated in SCE’s processes.
Holtec was loading the spent fuel canister into the Cavity Enclosure Container (CEC) on the dry cask storage pad when the canister got caught on an inner ring that helps to guide it into place. There is a very snug fit in the CECs, and it is not unusual for it to take the downloading team a few manipulations to get the canister aligned appropriately.
The crew performing this work did not initially recognize that the canister had stalled while caught on the inner ring. However, SCE’s oversight team determined the canister was not sitting properly, and the canister was repositioned and safely placed on the bottom of the CEC.
SCE also directed Holtec to review the incident with the fuel handling and downloading teams and discuss lessons learned regarding the potential for the canister to become wedged in the process of lowering the canisters into the storage facility prior to loading the next canister. Additional actions and training were added to the loading processes, which is part of SCE’s ongoing efforts to continuously improve its work practices. SCE does this routinely to ensure it is continuously evaluating its performance, communicating with the crews and incorporating best practices — all of these steps were discussed at the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel meeting Thursday night.
SCE is committed to protecting the safety of the public and takes these incidents very seriously as it progresses through its decommissioning process. In addition to working closely with Holtec, SCE also has discussed the performance concerns with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
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.