Thursday, June 20, 2013

Plans for Decommissioning of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3

On June 7, 2013, Southern California Edison (SCE) announced plans to permanently retire Units 2 and 3 at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).  One June 12, the licensee submitted a Certification of Permanent Cessation of Power Operations to the NRC, certifying that SCE has permanently ceased power operations of SONGS Units 2 and 3.  With this announcement, the NRC staff is refocusing efforts on establishing an inspection and oversight program that is appropriate for the licensee’s proposed decommissioning activities.

As one of the conditions for an operating license, the NRC requires the licensee to decommission the nuclear plant after it ceases operations.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has strict rules governing nuclear power plant decommissioning, involving cleanup of radioactively contaminated plant systems and structures, and the removal of the radioactive fuel.  These requirements protect workers and the public during the entire decommissioning process and the public after the license is terminated.

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