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NRC Visits San Onofre For Week-Long Inspection

Power lines make their way over a freeway toward the San Onofre nuclear power...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Power lines make their way over a freeway toward the San Onofre nuclear power plant, June 7, 2013.

NRC Visits San Onofre For Week-Long Inspection


Ted Quinn, nuclear engineer, member of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel


The regular meeting of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel last month was routine, until David Fritch, a safety inspector, revealed a near-accident at the plant the preceding week.

A cask of spent nuclear fuel had become hung up while being lowered into a dry storage container. It remained suspended 18 feet in the air for about 20 minutes until the mishap was noticed and taken care of.

Related: Nuclear Regulatory Commission To Conduct Inspection Following ‘Near-Miss’ At San Onofre

This incident, the second to occur at San Onofre during transfer of spent fuel to dry storage, triggered a special inspection from a Nuclear Regulatory Commission team. The inspection begins Monday and is expected to last a week.

Ted Quinn, a member of Southern California Edison's Community Engagement Panel for the decommissioning of San Onofre and an executive committee member of the San Diego Chapter of the American Nuclear Society, discusses the inspection and the potential for a serious accident with Alison St John on KPBS Midday Edition.

A team from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission arrives Monday to begin an inspection and evaluation of procedures at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station following a mishap on August 3 when a cask of spent nuclear fuel became hung up during transfer to dry storage. The cask could have dropped some 18 feet, but it did not.


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