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SoCal Edison Reports On Its Decommissioning Plan For San Onofre

San Onofre from Interstate 5.
Alison St John
San Onofre from Interstate 5.

SoCal Edison Reports On Its Decommissioning Plan For San Onofre
Southern California Edison will report on its decommissioning plan for the San Onofre nuclear power plant at a Community Engagement Panel meeting Thursday night in Oceanside.

Thursday night, Southern California Edison will share with the community its plans to dismantle the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant and store the nuclear waste on site.

San Onofre was shut down in January 2012 because of a small radiation leak, and closed for good in June 2013. San Onofre is north of San Diego.

Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern is a member of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel that will hear the report on the company’s plan for decommissioning and storing the nuclear waste.

“Now it’s done, everything’s cold and dark, we have it stored on site: how are they going to manage that?” Kern said. “They’re going to relay to the public how that’s going to be handled on site. And that gives the public an opportunity to weigh in and comment about their storage plan.”

Kern said the decommissioning process will be slow and focus on safety.

Nuclear watchdog groups oppose storing nuclear waste on the Southern California coast where more than 8 million people live within 50 miles.

They have raised concerns regarding the quality of storage canisters that will hold nuclear waste, and a lack of testing and repair plans for them.

Tom Palmisano, chief nuclear officer for Southern California Edison, will share draft plans, environmental impacts, and costs on Thursday.

It is estimated that the two decades-long process could cost $4.4 billion. The new amount, up from previous estimates of around $3.3 billion, was reported earlier this month.

How much of the costs of the shutdown, along with replacement power and other needs, will be borne by the utilities and how much by ratepayers has been the subject of many months of talks between the companies, regulators and consumer watchdogs.

Public comments and questions will be heard during the second half of the meeting.

The San Onofre Community Engagement Panel meeting will be held Thursday 
from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the 
Quantum Learning Network Conference Center,
 1938 Avenido del Oro
, in Oceanside.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at Twitter: @promisenews. Facebook: promise.yee.1.