PLAN ANNOUNCED TO DISMANTLE SAN ONOFRE, BUT SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL TO REMAIN

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August 5, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Southern California Edison has announced plans to dismantle the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Stations, which were decommissioned after radiation leaks, and restore the beach near the nuclear plants.

Under the $4.4 billion plan, which must be approved by the Public Utilities Commission, dismantling would begin in 2016 with large reactor components gone by 2022.  Ratepayers would  be stuck with $3.3 billion of that bill, under a proposed settlement agreement, UT San Diego reports.

The bad news locally is that spent nuclear fuel would remain indefinitely at San Onofre until the federal government can devise a national solution for storing the radioactive waste.  At San Onofre, the spent fuel would be moved from cooling ponds to dry storage in steel canisters in 2019.

Safety advocates have warned that spent fuel stored in pools pose a risk of fire if a pool should rupture, though the utility company has downplayed the issue, insisting the fuel is cool enough not to ignite.


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