SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dismantling the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California will take two decades and cost $4.4 billion, but spent radioactive fuel will be held at the site indefinitely, according to a game plan from Southern California Edison.
The price tag could make it the most expensive decommissioning in the 70-year history of the nuclear power industry, U-T San Diego reported (http://bit.ly/1oZUoTU ).
The plant was shut down in 2012 after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of extensive damage to steam-generator tubes that carried radioactive water. Edison, which operated the plant, closed it for good last year.
On Friday, the utility laid out a draft plan for dismantling the twin reactors and restoring the property north of San Diego over two decades, beginning in 2016.
As early as 2019, the spent nuclear fuel would be transferred from cooling pools to dry storage in reinforced steel canisters, where it would remain until the federal government comes up with a permanent storage plan.
Highly radioactive reactor parts also will be stored in canisters, while those with lower levels of contamination will be taken to disposal sites in Texas and Utah.
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