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San Onofre plant aims to resume transfers of nuclear waste in January 

 San Diego Tribune,  Rob NikolewskiContact Reporter, 30 Nov 18

The restart would mark the first transfers since a “near-miss” incident in August in which a 50-ton canister containing nuclear waste was accidentally left suspended on a metal flange, nearly 20 feet from the floor of a storage cavity for as much as one hour.

A specific date for the restart has not been set, and Edison officials emphasized it will only begin after roughly 60 workers have gone through “more detailed and improved training” that includes practice runs and employing an independent assessment team.

“We have not rushed to resume this,” said Tom Palmisano, vice president of external engagement at the plant, or SONGS. “We’re going to be very slow and deliberate so that we fully understand this and fully correct the underlying deficiencies that got us here.”

The company also said transfers will resume only after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed on-site inspections next month.

All canister transfers have been suspended since the Aug. 3 incident came to light………

“The NRC is concerned about apparent weaknesses in management oversight” of the operations connected to the transfers, the agency’s report said.

Holtec International is the contractor responsible for transferring the canisters at SONGS, with Edison providing oversight. Based in New Jersey, Holtec also designed the canisters and the new storage facility where they are placed……….

San Onofre has not produced electricity since the plant shut down following a leak in a steam generator tube in 2012. The following year the plant officially closed. It is now in the process of being decommissioned.

SONGS is located on an 85-acre chunk of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, owned by the Department of the Navy. The plant sits between the Pacific and one of the busiest freeways in the country — Interstate 5. About 8.4 million people live in a 50-mile radius of the plant in an area with a history of seismic activity.

The dry cask storage facilities are about 100 feet from the ocean, protected by a seawall 28 feet high.


December 1, 2018 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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