CEC asked to consider alternatives to nuclear dry cask storage in California

A group called Citizens Oversight Projects has called upon the California Energy Commission (CEC) to consider alternatives to a long-term Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) for spent fuel at the now-retired San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS).

Edison International (NYSE:EIX) subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE) announced the retirement of the 2,200-MW nuclear station in in San Clemente, California in March of 2014. The retirement news came after the two units had been idle since January 2012 because of concerns about unusual tube wear with steam generators.

The Citizens Oversight Projects said the ISFSI design, also known as dry cask storage, is a poor match for the San Onofre site. The proposed location is only 100 feet from the sea wall, according to the citizen group. “In addition, a rail line and a ten-lane freeway enter the exclusion zone,” the group said.

The organization also contends that dry cask storage is not dramatically safety than spent nuclear fuel pools.

The Citizens Oversight group recommends a more remote location, such as Fishel, California. Another other would be the three-unit Palo Verde nuclear station, which is operated by Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW) utility Arizona Public Service. “This is a vast area in the desert which is already licensed for an on-site ISFSI which could be expanded to accommodate the waste from San Onofre,” the group said.

Southern California Edison is a minority owner in Palo Verde, the group notes.

The Citizens Oversight comments were filed June 6 in connection with Docket 16-IEPR-07. The Citizens’ Oversight Projects have an office in El Cajon, California.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.