By Eric Heinz

Not a whole lot has transpired since San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s (SONGS) last Community Engagement Panel (CEP) meeting, although Southern California Edison (SCE), the majority owner of the now-defunct power plant, plans to award a decommissioning contract in the near future.

During the Sept. 15 meeting in Oceanside, SCE officials discussed the current status of the bidding process from contractors and subcontractors to decommission the facility. The decommissioning process is expected to take between 15 and 20 years and will involve returning the land on which the plant sits to its original state.

The State Lands Commission is working with SCE to remove most of the conduits that go more than 1,000 feet out to sea, which were used to pull in seawater to keep the plant’s nuclear reactors cool.

Now that the plant is offline, there’s no need for the conduits. The Commission is starting to go through the environmental impact process, which will examine the impacts of the conduit removal. Some concerns were brought up regarding the decision to leave portions of the conduit infrastructure in the sea, with the intention to make them counterfeit reefs.

The next CEP meeting is Thursday, Nov. 10, at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel at Doheny Beach. More information can be found at


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