NRC Approves Renewed Fuel Loading at San Onofre

Fuel loading operations were suspended following an Aug. 3, 2018, incident involving a loaded spent fuel storage canister that was misaligned and became stuck on a flange while being lowered into a storage vault.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently determined that fuel loading can be safely resumed at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Located in San Clemente, Calif., the plant is owned by Southern California Edison and was permanently shut down in 2013.

Fuel loading operations were suspended following an Aug. 3, 2018, incident involving a loaded spent fuel storage canister that was misaligned and became stuck on a flange while being lowered into a storage vault.

The commission initiated a Special Inspection during the week of Sept. 10, 2018, to investigate the "near miss" drop event. A team interviewed personnel who had been involved and observed equipment operation and preliminary corrective actions put in place to prevent a recurrence of the event.

The agency's announcement of the decision said NRC made the determination following an extensive review of technical data submitted by Southern California Edison regarding the possible effects of scratching on spent fuel canisters during fuel loading operations.

The commission will hold a virtual public meeting/webinar from 2-3 p.m. Central (noon to 1 p.m. Pacific Time) on June 3, giving members of the public an opportunity to submit written comments and questions following a presentation by NRC officials. Those interested in participating in the webinar should register for it on the NRC website.

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