Fight Looms Over San Onofre Shutdown Costs

SAN CLEMENTE ( — Lawmakers in Sacramento are deciding who will pay for the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power station in San Clemente.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports at issue is how officials can safely – and cost-effectively – remove radioactive waste from the now-defunct plant.

Fight Looms Over San Onofre Shutdown Cost

Members of the California Senate Energy Utilities and Communications Committee chaired by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) held the second in a series of hearings Tuesday to ask federal and state regulators how the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be safely decommissioned after its shutdown in June.

“We need to lay out options,” Padilla said, adding any plans must specifically address how to achieve “the proper disposal of radioactive elements, including spent fuel rods.”

Official estimates have placed the cost of safely decommissioning the plant as high as $4 billion.

Originally consisting of three nuclear reactors, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station lost its last two reactors after inspections of the Unit 2 reactor found unexpected deterioration of steam generator tubes during a planned refueling outage in January 2012.

Soon after, steam generator tubes in the Unit 3 reactor failed, venting a small amount of radioactive steam.

On June 7th, Southern California Edison announced the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

Click here to watch the hearings live from the State Capitol until 12 p.m.


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