Continued Safe Storage of Used Nuclear Fuel
San Onofre, like nuclear power plants throughout the United States, has a process for safely managing and storing used nuclear fuel and protecting workers, the public and the environment. San Onofre safely stores used nuclear fuel on site using a combination of technologies: enclosed, steel-lined pools (spent fuel pools) and sealed stainless steel canisters that are housed in reinforced concrete structures (dry cask storage).
Dry Cask Storage
Currently, about one-third of San Onofre’s used nuclear fuel is in dry storage. Now that San Onofre is permanently retired, Southern California Edison (SCE) is in the process of transferring all of the used nuclear fuel into dry cask storage by mid-2019.
Transferring Fuel from Wet to Dry Storage
Learn about the meticulous process SCE and the nuclear industry follows to load used nuclear fuel into robust steel canisters and transfer to dry storage.
Long Term Storage
By law, the U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for developing a disposal facility for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel from San Onofre and other U.S. nuclear power plants. However, the federal government does not have a viable program. So the fuel will remain on site until the federal government puts in place a program for its disposal. Until then, SCE is responsible for its safe storage with strict oversight from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The chairman of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel (CEP), David Victor, has taken a strong leadership role advocating for off-site storage of San Onofre's used nuclear fuel, as well as several other local elected officials. SCE is aligned with the community’s desire to find a long-term storage facility for its fuel.