San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is owned by Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) as well as the City of Riverside Utilities Department. SCE is the majority stakeholder who holds 78% ownership of the plant. The plant began operating in 1968. SCE notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that they would be ceasing operations of Unity 2 and 3 in June 2013.
The NRC is the Federal entity that implements strict rules governing nuclear power plant decommissioning which oversees the storage of the radioactive materials, and clean-up of contaminated plant structures. The NRC requires the decommissioning to be completed in 60 years but SCE plans to complete the work within 20 years.
In efforts to increase transparency SCE hosted their first Community Engagement Panel on March 26, 2014 at the San Clemente Community Center. Chris Thompson, Vice President of Decommissioning gave an overview of SCE’s timeline and decommissioning overview. SCE’s three main concerns are: safety, stewardship, and engagement. SCE has gathered over 20 community members from diverse backgrounds if you would like to learn more about the panelists you can visit www.SONGSCommunity.com for more information.
The majority of the meeting was spent discussing a long term storage solutions of dry casks which will be stored on site. Mr. Thompson unveiled the Nuclear Trust Fund which has $3.9 billion dollars to help pay for the cost of decommissioning.
In order to begin the process of recovering the power lost from SONGS, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) has approved a rate increase for SCE customers that will go into effect September 1, 2014. Tiered rates will increase by as much as 25.4%.
Homeowners and business owner can protect themselves from the future rate hike by becoming their own energy producer. By going solar residents can lock in the cost of their electricity for the next 20 years. You can sign up to go solar today and get installed before the summer bills hit. Sullivan Solar Power installs quality workmanship and will design your solar project from concept to completion. Sullivan Solar Power is administering the Orange County Solar Program which pays property owners in Orange County up to $2,000 to go solar. To learn more call 1.800.SULLIVAN or visit www.OCSolarProgram.com.