SCE awards decommissioning contract for San Onofre

After a 10-month competitive bid process, Southern California Edison (SCE) has selected a joint venture of AECOM and EnergySolutions as the Decommissioning General Contractor for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). It is one of the country’s largest commercial nuclear plant decommissioning projects.

SCE is a utility subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE:EIX).

SCE shares responsibility for decommissioning with San Onofre co-owners San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the city of Riverside, and former co-owner, the city of Anaheim. When operational, San Onofre Units 2 and 3 generated 2,200 MW of electricity.

SCE announced in June 2013 that it would retire San Onofre Units 2 and 3, and had begun the preparations to decommission the facility.

“We are pleased to announce the selection of the AECOM/EnergySolutions team, a global joint venture with extensive commercial and government decommissioning experience around the world, as the prime contractor to safely and efficiently dismantle the San Onofre nuclear plant,” said Ron Nichols, SCE president. The joint venture will be known as SONGS Decommissioning Solutions.

SDS combines more than 50 years of global decommissioning experience between AECOM and EnergySolutions.

The major dismantlement work will not begin before 2018 when state regulators are expected to complete their environmental review, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

The project is expected to create about 600 jobs during the 10-year dismantlement phase, including workers from local companies.

The $4.4bn nuclear plant decommissioning is financed through existing trust funds, including SCE’s share of the project as majority owner.

The total cost includes the dismantlement work awarded to SONGS Decommissioning Solutions; continued on-site storage of San Onofre’s used nuclear fuel until the federal government provides a required repository and restoration activities.

Earlier this year, PG&E (NYSE:PCG) announced that it would not seek 20-year license renewals for the two reactor units at California’s remaining nuclear station, Diablo Canyon. The two units, which together have a capacity of 2,200 MW, will both be retired by the end of 2025.

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.