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The reality of decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, 2007 (01)” by awnisALAN – [1]. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

One very real and prevalent factor throughout the decommissioning process is that Southern California Edison made all the major decisions prior to the Community Engagement Panel. The process is reminiscent of a kid standing along a railroad track when a locomotive is passing…you can shout, jump up and down, and maybe even throw something at it, but one thing for sure, you are not going to make any difference at all. It will not even know you are there.

Southern California Edison is well intentioned but minimizing the costs of decommissioning is without question the driving force. Anything other than what they have already decided to do would cost more money, even though ratepayers are paying most of these costs. There is $4.3 billion already collected over the years from ratepayers. This will cover decommissioning costs.  However, more money will be needed for the long-term storage costs.  This will be a continuing financial burden on ratepayers in the future.

While the Community Engagement Panel was discussing where to store spent fuel and in what type of canister, SCE announced they had selected a canister manufacturer and the decision to store spent fuel on site at San Onofre—water front, freeway front, and railroad front.  So much for any real influence of the Panel and the motivation to find a California solution for long-term storage. But hey, what could possibly go wrong?

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