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Citizens Panel To Discuss San Onofre

Aired 3/24/14 on KPBS News.

The process to decommission the San Onofre nuclear power plant moves forward a bit as Southern California Edison convenes its citizens panel.

The citizens panel that will help communicate what's happening with the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear power plant meets for the first time Tuesday.

San Onofre from Interstate 5.

The group was convened by Southern California Edison, the nuclear station's majority owner. The utility hopes panel members can serve as conduits for information about a process that could last decades.

The committee includes representatives from a wide range of groups with a stake in how the plant is dismantled. They include Camp Pendleton, labor groups and representatives from nearby county governments. UC San Diego professor David Victor is an energy policy scholar who will chair the committee.

"There are a lot of key decisions to be made," said David Victor, UC San Diego professor and energy policy scholar.

Among the questions needing answers, how rapidly does decommissioning unfold. What's done with the site itself.

"Some of these issues the co-owners have no real options because there are regulatory requirements, but for many of them they need input from the local communities," Victor said.

The next major step for the utility is to map out the preferred decommissioning plan. That could happen by the end of summer.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | March 24, 2014 at 2:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 12 months ago

The key decision is how and where the high level nuclear waste products currently stored at the site will be disposed of. That is the key unanswered question dogging the global nuclear power industry which has been blown off, until now. Everything else is secondary to answering that question. SONGS should not be allowed to become a long term nuclear waste dump sitting in the middle of one of Southern California's most populous region. Failure to develop a lucid answer to this question will mean the new panel fails in its primary responsibility.

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