Southern California Edison (SCE) has announced a strategic plan for moving spent nuclear fuel off of its San Onofre property to a federal repository as a signal to the local community and the federal government that the company has gone as far as it can to meet its responsibilities in long-term waste management.
SCE shut down Unis 2 and 3 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station after a steam replacement process revealed cost-prohibitive problems with the replacement components. Since the closure in 2013, SCE moved its inventory of used nuclear fuel from cooling pools into 123 dry storage containers.
Meanwhile, the federal government had intended to have a permanent used fuel solution available by 1998. Plans for development of a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and all other potential sites have all failed to materialize, however. Nuclear power plants have had to step into the long-term storage business, regardless of local or state pressure to move the toxic waste to a permanently safe location.
The three part plan announced March 15 addresses what SCE calls the Action Plan, the Strategic Plan and the Conceptual Transportation Plan.
The Action Plan outlines development of site preparation for used fuel removal and, alternately, steps required to ensure continued safety of on-site storage systems. This plan addresses steps that SCE, the plant’s co-owners and the local municipalities need to take to prepare for transportation. The Strategic Plan details alternative plans with specifics concerning preparations and costs of different scenarios, including use of an interim storage facility if a permanent federal site remains unavailable.
The Conceptual Transportation Plan outlines steps required to ship the spent fuel off site.
“These plans provide the opportunity to analyse three broad areas related to spent nuclear fuel removal. First, identifying the pathways, options and feasibility, both near term and long term, to relocate the fuel. Second, the transportation considerations to safely get from point A to point B. And third, the steps SCE must take to be prepared when the opportunity arises,” said Doug Bauder, SCE vice president and chief nuclear officer.
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Should still ship it to the Nevada Test site. They can store it there for protection. The original site of the first surface explosion is possible. It has been a stay-on-the-bus tour for visitors. And there is the Sedan crater. Let the casts slide down the 600 ft crater.