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A model illustrates the process of placing spent fuel into dry cask storage. Photo: Jim Shilander
A model illustrates the process of placing spent fuel into dry cask storage. Photo: Jim Shilander

By Jim Shilander

The future of the spent nuclear fuel stored at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was a topic of major interest Monday at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center during an informational event hosted by Southern California Edison on the decommissioning of the plant.

The most popular table at the event, in terms of interest, was one focused on the long-term storage of spent fuel at the site, which included a model of a spent fuel assembly and the storage process for placement in the casks.

Gene Stone, a member of Edison’s Community Engagement Panel and leader in the local environmental movement said he was most concerned about the storage options the utility is considering. His deepest worries focused on the lack of ability to monitor the casks for leaks using current technology, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regulations for such casks, which he said do not reflect a reality of long-term storage at nuclear plant sites.

The CEP will meet again in San Juan Capistrano next Thursday, Oct. 9, to discuss emergency planning and preparedness. Another special meeting, to be held Oct. 14, will be a public forum focused on issues of spent fuel storage and will include cask vendors. Both events will be held at the San Juan Community Center, located at 25925 Camino del Avion.

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