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Edison’s Plans To Resume Nuclear Waste Transfer May Face Legal Challenge via KPBS

Southern California Edison may face more legal challenges before resuming the transfer of highly radioactive spent fuel rods from cooling ponds to silos near the beach at San Onofre.

San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre said Edison has not lived up to the terms of a settlement agreement he reached with them last year. Aguirre had challenged the California Coastal Commission’s permit allowing Edison to bury the waste 100 feet from the ocean. He reached a settlement with Edison and the California Coastal Commission, in which Aguirre said Edison agreed to make every “commercially reasonable effort” to find an alternative place to store the nuclear waste.

Instead, Aguirre said, half-inch thick stainless steel canisters holding the waste may have been damaged during transfer, making future relocation more difficult or impossible. He cited a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report released last month that summarizes management problems at the plant, including lack of training, of equipment, of safety procedures and oversight, that resulted in a near-miss accident at San Onofre.

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Edison Public Information Officer John Dobken said operations to move the spent fuel rods from cooling ponds to buried silos will not resume until the NRC has inspected revamped procedures. He said the company hopes to continue loading the canisters packed with spent fuel into bunkers in mid to late January.

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