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Edison Announces Contractor For $4.4B Decommissioning Of San Onofre

Above: Surfers walk along a beach nearby the San Onofre nuclear power plant, July 19, 2012.

A joint venture between Los Angeles-based AECOM and Energy Solutions Inc. of Salt Lake City will serve as the general contractor for the $4.4 billion decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Southern California Edison announced Tuesday.

AECOM, a multinational engineering firm with an active presence in San Diego, and Energy Solutions, the largest handler of nuclear waste in the U.S., were selected after 10 months of competitive bidding, according to Edison, the operator and majority owner of the plant on the northern San Diego County coastline.

The joint venture will be known as SONGS Decommissioning Solutions.

The plant has been dormant since a small, non-injury leak in one of the reactors took place in January 2012. More than a year later, Edison announced that it would shut down the facility instead of following a costly restart process.

"We are pleased to announce the selection of the AECOM/Energy Solutions team, a global joint venture with extensive commercial and government decommissioning experience around the world, as the prime contractor to safely and efficiently dismantle the San Onofre nuclear plant," Southern California Edison President Ron Nichols said.

"SCE will maintain strict oversight of the contractor and will continue to engage with the community and all stakeholders during decommissioning," he said.

The decommissioning plan is undergoing an environmental review. Significant work to dismantle the facility isn't expected to begin before 2018, and will take about a decade, according to the utility.

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