Members of the public got a first look at what decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will look like last week as Southern California Edison, the plant’s majority owner and operator, released a draft post-shutdown report including a preliminary timeline and cost analysis of retiring the nuclear power facility. File photo
Members of the public got a first look at what decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will look like last week as Southern California Edison, the plant’s majority owner and operator, released a draft post-shutdown report including a preliminary timeline and cost analysis of retiring the nuclear power facility. File photo

By Jim Shilander

Southern California Edison, the majority owner and operator of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, hopes to complete the shuttered energy plant’s demolition by the end of 2032, according to a draft post-shutdown decommissioning activities report released by the utility last week.

The eventual mothballing of the plant, located south of San Clemente on Interstate 5, that provided electricity to customers throughout Southern California until its operations were ceased in June 2013, is expected to cost $4.4 billion, Edison said in the report.

The utility currently has $4.2 billion in a decommissioning trust fund to pay for the process.

The timeline provided indicates that spent nuclear fuel, currently being stored in cooling pools, would be transferred into dry-cask storage by June 2019. Residents and nuclear-safety activists have urged for used fuel to be moved as quickly as possible into dry-storage containers considered less vulnerable to disasters.

Edison’s estimates fuel will be held in dry-cask storage though 2049. The utility then projects it will take three years to restore the property and to terminate its easement with the Department of the Navy, which owns the land on which the nuclear power plant sits. Edison plans to remove the twin domes housing nuclear reactors and other buildings by 2032 but will take another 20 years to fully vacate the property.

The report will be the subject of the utility’s next Community Engagement Panel meeting, which is made up of area leaders and stakeholders from Orange and San Diego counties.

The group’s Aug. 14 meeting in Oceanside was postponed. No new date or location has been announced.

A finalized version of the post-shutdown decommissioning report must still be submitted and approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal government’s nuclear oversight body.

The complete post-shutdown report and timeline is available for public review at www.songscommunity.com.

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