SCE Awards San Onofre Decommissioning Contract

Southern California Edison (SCE) on Wednesday said that the primary contract for decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) was awarded to a joint venture of AECOM and EnergySolutions after a 10-month competitive bid process. The company said the joint venture, called SONGS Decommissioning Solutions, would be the general contractor for the project.

San Onofre NPPThe project will be one of the largest commercial nuclear plant decommissioning efforts, the company noted in a statement. 

Ron Nichols, SCE president said the “global joint venture” included “extensive commercial and government decommissioning experience.”

AECOM, named one of Fortune Magazines “World's Most Admired Companies” in 2016, designs, builds, finances and operates assets in more than 150 countries. EnergySolutions specializes in nuclear plant decommissioning and waste management. It is currently contracted and in the demolition phase at projects at both the Zion and Dairyland nuclear power stations.

The project is expected to create 600 jobs during a decade-long dismantling phase. This will include workers from local companies, SCE said. The plant is located in the northwest corner of San Diego County, south of San Clemente.

At peak, SONGS employed 2,200 workers operating and maintaining three units. The first unit, a Westinghouse designed pressurized water reactor ceased operating in 1992 and has been used since as a spent fuel storage facility. The subsequent two reactors, 2 and 3, are Combustion Engineering two-loop pressurized water reactors with listed with 1,070 MWe and MWe net capacities.

Units 2 and 3 were shut down in 2012 after newly installed Mitsubishi steam generators were found to have extensive wear on over 3,000 tubes in steam generators installed in 2010 and 2011.

The $4.4 billion nuclear plant decommissioning project is financed through existing trust funds, including SCE's share of the project as majority owner. The cost includes dismantlement and the storage of spent fuel that will be necessary on site until the federal government provides the appropriate long-term repository.  

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