09/26/2013 Carlsbad NRC meeting: Decommissioning San Onofre

Meeting summary
Meeting Transcript

Note 10/27/2014: NRC’s Larry Camper, said a separate meeting will be scheduled regarding high burnup fuel. However, this was never scheduled. Edison plans to store high burnup fuel in a new dry cask that will increase our risks. Learn about these critical issue on this handout:  Core Message to the NRC handout (9/26/2013).

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff will hold a public meeting in Carlsbad, California, to discuss the decommissioning process for nuclear power reactors, including the San  Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.  Please attend this important meeting. 

Location:  Omni LaCosta Hotel2100 Costa del Mar Road, Carlsbad, CA 92009
Date: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Time: 6-9 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. to to accommodate security bag checks.
Parking: Free self-parking available.
La Costa Hotel: 800-854-5000 or 760-438-9111
NRC Contact: John Hickman, FSME 301-415-3017 John.Hickman@nrc.gov 

One Day Son All This Will Be YoursSan Onofre is shut down, but there are many risks and costs related to the decommissioning process.  For example, California’s San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants use high burnup fuel, making the decommissioning process and storage of the tons of nuclear waste much more dangerous.

  • High burnup fuel results in waste that is hotter and over twice as radioactive, requiring the waste to be cooled on-site in spent fuel pools for at least 12-15 years (rather than 5 years). Water must continuously flow over the nuclear waste in these pools or the waste will overheat resulting in a potential nuclear radiation disaster.San Onofre cask loading into storage bunker
  • The NRC has not approved a transport dry storage cask nor even short term dry cask storage (over 20 years) for high burnup fuel.  
  • The initial NRC high burnup dry cask storage approval (for 20 years) was based on assumptions that are proving incorrect. The high burnup fuel assemblies are showing unpredictable increases in wear on materials and components.
  • Higher fuel burn-up results in increased environmental and human health consequences in the event of an accident resulting in the release of radioactive substances.
  • More information and sources at https://sanonofresafety.org/nuclear-waste/

Question for the NRC: Why is the NRC continuing to allow high burnup fuel at U.S. nuclear reactors when they don’t have an approved safe solution to store or transport this waste — even short-term?

At this public meeting the NRC will respond to questions about the decommissioning process, but will be unable to answer specific questions concerning Southern California Edison’s plans for decommissioning San Onofre, as that information is not yet available. This is a Category 3 public meeting. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the NRC presentations. TELECONFERENCE: Members of the public can listen to this meeting via the following one-way toll-free phone bridge: 1-888-469-2078. Passcode 2185334. The audio stream will be available once the meeting begins.  Questions or comments regarding the decommissioning process for power reactors can be submitted at any time to OPA4_Resource@nrc.gov. This meeting will be videotaped and transcribed by the NRC. It will be available on the NRC webpage (http://www.nrc.gov/infofinder/reactorlsongs/decommissioning-plans.html) following the meeting. The meeting transcript will be placed in the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) following the meeting to provide a written account of this meeting. Docket Nos. 50-361 and 50-362. Information associated with NRC’s regulatory oversight of the decommissioning of nuclear facilities is publicly available at http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/decommissioning.html. Participants from the NRC include:

Larry Camper, Director, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, FSME
Bruce Watson, Chief, Reactor Decommissioning Branch, FSME
Blair Spitzberg, Chief, Repository and Spent Fuel Safety Branch. RIV
Michael Dusaniwskyj, Financial Analyst, Financial Analysis & International Projects Branch. NRR


6:00 p.m. – 6:10p.m. Welcome, agenda and ground rules for Q & A session (Chip Cameron, Facilitator)
6:10p.m. – 6:20 p.m. NRC Decommissioning Overview (Larry Camper)
6:20 p.m. – 6:35 p.m. Reactor Decommissioning Process (Bruce Watson)
6:35 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Decommissioning Inspection Program (Blair Spitzberg)
6:45 p.m. – 6:50 p.m. Decommissioning Funding (Mike Dusaniwskyj)
6:50 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Spent Fuel Management (Blair Spitzberg)
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Questions and comments from members of the public (Chip Cameron)
9:00 p.m.  Adjourn Enclosure
2013-09-26 NRC meeting announcement and agenda (ML13238A283)
2013-09-26 Handout – Core Message to the NRC from Coalition to Decommission San Onofre

Note: Although not part of this NRC meeting, Southern California Edison submitted written testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission for possible decommissioning scenarios. See SONGS 2 & 3 Early Decommissioning Scenario – CPUC Supplemental Testimony, July, 22, 2013 For an inventory of dry casks stored at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants, see last pages on the these NRC inspection reports:

For more information, go to https://sanonofresafety.org/nuclear-waste/

San Onofre Nuclear Spent Fuel Pool

San Onofre transfer pool

About Donna Gilmore

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2 Responses to 09/26/2013 Carlsbad NRC meeting: Decommissioning San Onofre

  1. rsauerheber says:

    I might be able to attend the local meeting. I’ve fought against filthy nuclear fission plutonium generators for 40 years. Although it is good to see that SO finally is shut down, it is frustrating and sad that all this had to happen in the first place. Since its inception, it is known that there is no way to neutralize the created plutonium. But engineers were not going to be stopped. Since the ’70’s it has been proven that children living within 5 miles of the stacks from this type of facility have blood cancers at substantially higher rates, where radioactive gases that cannot be trapped are released and defined as being ‘safe’. The releases have always been substantial, including the regular releases of tritium water. Quite a depressing story and one can only hope that the cleanup can be conducted as safely as possible.

  2. I read the news about the decommissioning of San Onofre with a great sigh of relief. This was rapidly replaced by a feeling of loss, and a recognition that this was not the END of the problem, but just the beginning of another battle, paid for by the ratepayers and taxpayers, to remove the known radioactives to ???, and then to monitor the residues and their continued radiation for ???
    We taunt and laugh at the Japanese disaster at Fukushima, but in fact we haven’t done very much better. They had a much bigger “Bomb” ,but our tolerance of 40years without the required emergency evacuation plans shows a similar contempt for the rule of law and admission that real human lives are at risk.

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