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Nuclear Regulatory Commission Debates San Onofre Plant Shutdown At First Public Meeting

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SAN ONOFRE (CBSLA.com) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission met on Thursday to debate the potential effects of shutting down the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reports hundreds of residents gathered for their first chance to hear what’s next for the plant since it was permanently closed earlier this year.

Gary Headrick led the charge to have the plant shut down for good.

“There are issues that can challenge us even more than having a reactor operating,” he said.

Headrick and others asked the NRC what they plan to do with the radioactive spent fuel rods.

He says they don’t have a proven storage technique.

“Not only nuclear waste, but toxic waste that’s part of the decommissioning process will be released into the ocean and the environment. There is high burn-up fuel which is much different than at other nuclear facilities which makes it harder to store nuclear waste,” he said.

Edison has two years to submit a plan for decommissioning the San Onofre plant.

Activist Carol Jahnkow is asking for a citizens oversight committee.

“We don’t want to wait two years to find out what they’re going to do, how much they’ve been spending in the interim and what safety precautions they’ve taken,” she said.

An NRC spokesman said the agency will be watching Edison’s every move.

“The decommissioning activity will be done safely under the watchful eyes of the NRC, and it’s not over until we say it’s over,” he said.

An Edison spokesperson declined an on-camera interview but said that it will cost over $4 billion to decommission the plant.

Customers’ rates, the spokesperson said, will not go up for five years.

An NRC spokesperson said Edison is looking at either disassembling the plant quickly or letting it sit for 30 years while waiting for the radioactivity to decay.

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