First Public Meeting on Decommissioning of San Onofre Nuclear Plant to be Held in San Clemente

The Community Engagement Panel will meet March 25 at the San Clemente Community Center.

March 24, 2014 | By Lois Pitter Bruce and Maureen Brown

A newly established Community Engagement Panel created to advise on the safe and expeditious decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant will hold its first meeting on Tuesday in San Clemente. 

The panel brings together a diverse and inclusive group and the public is invited to the meeting, which will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente.

“Public engagement is essential to our goal to decommission San Onofre in a transparent and inclusive way,” said Chris Thompson, SCE vice president of decommissioning.  

Southern California Edison (SCE) and the co-owners of the nuclear plant established the CEP to serve as a channel for factual information between the owners and the public throughout decommissioning. The panel’s work is based on the guiding principles of safety, stewardship and engagement.

The first CEP meeting will include an overview of plans to dismantle the facility within 20 years, as well as a public comment period. Members of the public also may sign up on the plant’s website to receive regular e-mail updates about San Onofre’s decommissioning.

Thompson is leading the effort for SCE. He will work closely with Tom Palmisano, SCE vice president and chief nuclear officer. Thompson will place special focus on making sure the company keeps the lines of communication open with the community.

SCE is committed to the safe and cost-efficient decommissioning of the plant. The company has established collaborative relationships with a cross section of community stakeholders so the process would be managed in an inclusive, forward-thinking and responsible manner.

Chairman of the 18-member CEP is David G. Victor, a University of California, San Diego professor and expert on energy markets.

“David Victor has the vision, leadership and experience to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to ensure the San Onofre decommissioning proceeds in a thoughtful and inclusive way,” said SCE President Ron Litzinger. “He shares our commitment to leave the community better off given that it has been home to San Onofre for the past 40 years.”

Panel representatives include the American Nuclear Society, California State Parks, Camp Pendleton, Capistrano Unified School District, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment, Ocean Institute, Orange County Coastkeeper, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, organized labor, South Orange County Economic Coalition and the University of California, Irvine. Also represented are the boards of supervisors for Orange County and San Diego and the cities of Dana Point, Oceanside, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

CEP updates will be available on www.songscommunity.com, along with information about CEP members and the decommissioning process, including Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversight.

The current owners of San Onofre are SCE, San Diego Gas and Electric and the city of Riverside. The city of Anaheim was a previous owner. Current and previous owners are responsible for decommissioning.

SCE announced June 7, 2013, that it would retire San Onofre Units 2 and 3, and begin preparations to decommission the facility. The site workforce has been reduced to 520, a reduction of more than 900 employees. For more information, visit www.songscommunity.com.

Topics: SONGS