Federal regulators and nuclear experts to present at May 6 meeting in San Juan Capistrano

Southern California Edison’s community panel will meet in San Juan Capistrano Tuesday to discuss spent fuel at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. File photo
Southern California Edison’s community panel will meet in San Juan Capistrano Tuesday to discuss spent fuel at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. File photo

By Jim Shilander

Southern California Edison’s community engagement panel will meet Tuesday, May 6 to discuss the management of spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, located south of San Clemente.

The management of such fuel, both in temporary cooling pools and permanent dry-cask storage on-site, has been a major point of contention since the plant closed in June 2013.

Since the plant’s closure, San Clemente officials formally urged the utility to move fuel from the plant as soon as a national repository for nuclear waste is identified. Nuclear opponents said the current storage options make the plan a target for terrorism and vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Representatives from the federal government’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is overseeing the decommissioning of the plant, will be presenting at the meeting. Additionally, radioactive material storage experts and UC Berkeley professor Per Peterson, who served on President Barack Obama’s commission regarding the nation’s nuclear future, will speak.

The utility recently announced its intention to create a new emergency plan reflecting the plant’s decommissioning process of de-fueling nuclear reactors. Updated plans could mean Edison’s emergency-related operations no longer fall outside the plant’s site.

Edison was cited in March by NRC regulators for a low-level violation regarding its emergency response staffing after the plant’s shutdown. The plan would bring Edison and SONGS into compliance.

The panel discussion and presentations will be held at 6 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, located at 25925 Camino del Avion. Panelists include the mayors of Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and representatives from organizations across Orange and San Diego counties.

Visit www.songscommunity.com for information on the panel and upcoming discussions.

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