What Will Happen to San Onofre Nuclear Waste? - NBC 7 San Diego

What Will Happen to San Onofre Nuclear Waste?

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    What Will Happen to San Onofre Nuclear Waste?

    NBC7's Wendy Fry reports on where San Onofre's nuclear waste will be stored now that the plant is shut down. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015)

    Southern California Edison, the company already in hot water over allegations of secret deals that left taxpayers mostly on the hook for the $3 billion shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) will oversee burying the nuclear waste along the San Diego County coastline for decades to come.

    Hearings about the shutdown costs of the nuclear power plant located along Interstate 5 between San Diego and Orange counties drew crowds of angry customers but not much fuss has been made over a plan to bury 3,600,000 pounds of nuclear waste underground along the coast.

    The power plant closed in 2012  after a radiation leak led officials to discover damage to hundreds of tubes inside virtually new steam generators.

    The controversial shutdown deal left ratepayers stuck with $3.3 billion bill.

    Meantime, ratepayer advocates released documents showing the state agency meant to oversee all of this didn’t raise a concern when SoCal Edison told them they were going to start destroying email and “black boxes” from a 2011 energy blackout.

    “What most people don’t understand is that when San Onofre went down in January of 2012, that started a chain reaction and we’re now living it,” said attorney Mike Aguirre.

    “The people who have all the equipment on that have to go in and clean up the mess, just like with Fukushima, that’s what’s going on at San Onofre.”

    SoCal Edison did not return a request for comment Monday and an attorney for the business told NBC 7 in June that the company would not be making any public comments related to a lawsuit brought by clients of Mike Aguirre.

    However, the company does explain the dry storage plan for plant waste in a document here.

    The company Holtec International was hired to build a dry storage system and has transferred about a third of the spent fuel from SONGS into the containers.

    Socal Edison said nuclear power plants throughout the U.S. have been safely storing used nuclear fuel in dry storage canisters since 1986.

    A federal investigation after the 2012 leak at San Onofre concluded that a botched computer analysis resulted in generator design flaws that were largely to blame for the unprecedented wear in the tubing that carried radioactive water.