Spent Fuel Storage Safety Will Be Focus at Next San Onofre Community Engagement Panel Meeting
ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 21, 2020 — The San Onofre Community Engagement Panel will focus on spent nuclear fuel storage safety at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station during its second quarter meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. on May 28. The meeting will take place via Skype video conference as Southern California Edison and CEP members work to reduce COVID-19 exposure through actions that align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on physical distancing. Additional topics will include updates on fuel transfer operations and decommissioning activities.
The CEP has focused on the concept of defense-in-depth for spent fuel storage during past meetings. However, this meeting will include multiple outside experts to discuss various natural and human “outlier” scenarios in relation to dry fuel storage safety. These are highly unlikely events, yet ones the dry fuel storage systems at San Onofre are still designed to withstand. One such scenario is canister degradation over time. In December, SCE demonstrated it could repair a storage canister in place at San Onofre, if necessary, using a metallic overlay process.
The meeting will also feature a presentation on radiation basics, and how emergency response is now handled at San Onofre since the plant was retired in 2013.
An update on fuel transfer operations will provide information on the movement of spent nuclear fuel from wet to passive dry storage since the last CEP meeting in March. To date, 10 canisters of spent fuel remain to be safely placed into the Holtec dry storage system. Fuel transfer operations are expected to finish this summer.
There will also be an update on decommissioning activities at San Onofre, including work to remove asbestos-containing material from the Unit 2 and 3 containment buildings.
Members of the public can view the video conference by first visiting songscommunity.com, where a link to the meeting will be provided. Through the web page dedicated to the meeting, SCE began soliciting questions yesterday related to meeting agenda topics and comments may be submitted until 5 p.m. next Tuesday. To the greatest extent possible, questions will be addressed in the presentation and/or discussed by SCE and/or guest speakers as part of the facilitated dialogue. More details will be posted to the CEP web page before the meeting.
When SCE announced the retirement of San Onofre Units 2 and 3 in June 2013, it established the core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement to guide decommissioning.
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.