Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane told a Senate committee Wednesday that it would likely take "months," to review Southern California Edison's response to a letter outlining the NRC's safety concerns for Unit 2. Photo by Andrea Swayne
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Photo: File by Andrea Swayne

By Eric Heinz

During the quarterly Community Engagement Panel meeting on July 23 in Oceanside, the proposed additional storage for onsite nuclear waste at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station that Southern California Edison and Holtec International has planned was the main focus of discussion.

Holtec president and CEO Krishna Singh discussed the proposal for stainless steel canisters that he said have been simulated to withstand twice the seismic activity of major earthquakes.

“We have loaded 50 canisters already, and the loading process is virtually the same as the prior storage,” said Thomas Palmisano, SCE vice president of decommissioning and chief nuclear officer. “The handling is a little different. The loading of the fuel is moved under water, welded and drained and moved safely.”

The nuclear waste is to be stored underground until the Department of Energy, which is responsible for handling the waste, decides where to permanently move it off SONGS facilities.

A point of concern from audience members was SCE no longer mentions Saddleback Memorial Hospital in San Clemente as a primary facility for emergency services. This was part of the less stringent requirements from the Nuclear Regulation Commission amended in June.

“It’s a good hospital, (but) when we operated we had 2,000 to 3,000 employees on site, so we had four to five hospitals that were specially trained to handle a contaminated injured person,” Palmisano said. “We only have 300 to 500 employees on site today. We don’t need all those hospitals maintaining all that capability.”

In an emergency event, the operators will use the nearest facility and follow emergency procedures, Palmisano said.

“It’s not that we won’t use them,” he said. “Orange County will continue to provide coverage and off-site emergency planning activities for that area.”

Timelines of the next operation in the SONGS decommission planning are available at 

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comments (2)

  • Edison’s Duplicity knows No Bounds! Edison is a seriel liar!

  • Joe, what does that make the anti-nukes?

    Your anti-nuke group lied about SONGs’ emergency batteries claiming they were disconnected for 4 years. Could you drive your car with the battery disconnected…for 4 years?

    Your beloved website falsely claimed PWRs don’t have reactor vessel level indication.
    Misidentified the Spent Fuel Pool with a picture of the refueling pool. Had the wrong fuel burn-up figures, figures that would have been in violation of the tech specs which Donna had in her possession at the time.
    Contained a video of some individual lying about incredible animal mutations as a result of TMI.

    Headrick falsely claimed that the tiny tube leak almost ended in an accident worse than Fukushima. There have been a number of tube leaks in the industry, indeed this was not the first for San Onofre. They are what is called Anticipated Operational Occurrences, activities expected to occur sometime during plant life. Headrick’s statement personifies hyperbole.
    He made false statements to news gal, Vikki Vargas, claiming SONGs planned on rotating fuel in and out of canisters and that moving fuel was dangerous, despite the fact that it has been safely moved at least a million times (literally) in this country alone.
    He misstated the stewardship statement of the CEP to make it sound as if Edison was saying they put profits before safety, a constant theme in anti-nuke false charges.

    Hoffman claimed there were 1000 ways to melt down a nuclear plant, that the mis-operation of one switch could cause it. He claimed that it was that easy, or nearly so. He bravely chose not to defend such non-sense because of all people in your local disinformation camp, he knows better.

    At the first CEP, Gene Stone falsely claimed that TMI spent fuel canisters were leaking and that 2000 MWs of solar power, apart from roof top, had come on line in California just since the SONGs shutdown.

    Donna Gilmore continues her relentless pursuit of misinforming the public regarding spent fuel canisters insisting SONGs use the European ductile cast iron casks. She doesn’t tell her audience, nor have I seen it on the website, that the casks she prefers have NEVER had a license for shipping spent fuel in this country. The casks have LOST their license for storing spent fuel in this country (Surry has a license for storage but this license ONLY applies to Surry).
    She knows, but doesn’t tell her audience, that the European casks are too heavy, that SONGs’ crane equipment CANNOT lift them, ie., no amount of wishing will make them any lighter and therefore they CANNOT be used.
    Donna claimed that if a canister leaks, a disaster worst than Fukushima could occur. She also has chosen NOT to defend that remark. The fact that a canister, according to David Victor’s report (the CEP Chairman), has been allowed, for experimental purposes, to leak for two years, has refuted any such bogus claims.

    Then there is Roger Johnson, a veritable factory of false information. His truck bomb that he claims could take out the spent fuel pool from outside the perimeter, would have to defy the laws of physics by changing direction not to mention the many feet of concrete, K-rails, and asphalt the blast must pass through. He claimed North Korea had nuclear weapons aimed at…SAN ONOFRE! His claims of all sorts of secrecy going on at San Onofre is again, just plain false. All information is open to the NRC who can go anywhere, anytime, view any documents they choose, nothing can be withheld from them, AND they make this info available to the public.

    Joe, you’ve attended the CEP meetings, what has SCE with held from you or what are they lying about in regard to San Onofre’s spent fuel operations?

    Given all the above, it is rather obvious who the real liars are, who the people are who are trying to deceive the public; and YOU are a member of this crowd. Shameless.

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