Southern California Edison technicians have successfully completed fuel transfer operations at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s (SONGS’) with placement of the last of 73 spent nuclear fuel canisters in the Holtec UMAX dry fuel storage system.
The fuel is now one step closer to being ready for relocation to an off-site facility when one becomes available. Currently, no such federally licensed facility exists.
Both wet storage of spent fuel in pools of water and dry storage in welded stainless-steel canisters are considered extremely safe. However, dry storage offers additional safety benefits, SCE said. Notably, the dry storage systems at San Onofre have more than twice the seismic rating as the spent fuel pools, and dry storage requires no electricity because the fuel is convection cooled with ambient air.
SCE is currently developing a strategic plan to help us explore opportunities for advancing various alternatives to get the spent fuel off-site, said Doug Bauder, SCE vice president and chief nuclear officer.
SCE expects to release the strategic plan early next year. Planning will explore alternatives for relocating San Onofre’s spent fuel to an off-site facility, either for permanent disposal or temporary storage. Alternative plans will also be discussed.
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