San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. File photo
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. File photo

By Andrea Papagianis

Federal regulators will receive information Monday about storing used nuclear fuel and the possibility of expediting the process of transferring nuclear waste from cooling pools to dry storage.

Members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hear a brief on the safety of storing nuclear waste in cooling pools January 6 at the agency’s Maryland headquarters.

The safety of spent nuclear fuel in pools at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, situated 12 miles south of Dana Point, has been a topic of debate since majority plant owner Southern California Edison’s June decision to close the plant permanently. San Onofre stopped energy production in January 2012 after a small radiation leak and abnormal wear in the plant’s two reactors was found.

Safety concerns prompted the San Clemente City Council’s recent decision to ask federal regulators to remove nuclear waste from the site. But currently, with no federal repository for such waste, San Onofre’s nuclear fuel could be stored at the location indefinitely.

The federal hearing will look at accelerating the moving of fuel from cooling pools to dry cask storage units, which are considered less vulnerable to environmental disasters.

For more on the meeting, visit the federal agency’s website and track San Onofre developments on Twitter @DanaPointTimes.

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