San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Photo by Don Ramey Logan Jr. via Wikimedia Commons

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that loading of spent fuel can be safely resumed at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Fuel loading operations were suspended following an incident last August involving a loaded spent fuel storage canister that was misaligned and became stuck while being lowered into a storage vault.

Spent fuel is being removed from the plant for permanent storage as part of a decommissioning process for the shuttered facility.

The NRC made its determination following extensive review of technical data submitted by Southern California Edison regarding the possible effects of scratching on spent fuel canisters during fuel loading

Rep. Mike Levin, in whose district the plant is located, said he remains “strongly concerned” about the safety of the operation.

“The safety of my constituents is my top priority, and there are many lingering questions about the safety of spent nuclear fuel loading at SONGS that have not been fully addressed,” Levin said in a statement.

“I called for a full-time NRC inspector at the facility because Southern California Edison proved after the ‘near-miss’ canister incident that we need a higher level of transparency, accountability, and oversight. Until a full-time NRC inspector is in place, I will remain strongly concerned about the loading of spent nuclear fuel at this site.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.