Southern California Edison awarded a consulting contract to North Wind to develop a strategic plan that will assess the feasibility of relocating spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre nuclear plant to a commercially reasonable, off-site facility.


Image: The North Wind consultants will work in concert with SCE and its Experts Team. Photo courtesy of Johannes Plenio from Pixabay.

SCE is committed to the safe, secure storage of spent nuclear fuel, recognizing that efforts to relocate San Onofre’s spent nuclear fuel off-site must proceed in a thoughtful, forward-thinking and responsible way, ensuring that relevant interests are recognized and heard. Moving San Onofre’s spent nuclear fuel off-site is a top priority for SCE, as is safely managing the fuel while it is on-site. There is currently no federally licensed facility to receive spent nuclear fuel from a commercial nuclear energy site.

The North Wind consultants will work in concert with SCE and its Experts Team, which will support development of the strategic plan by reviewing North Wind’s work during the anticipated 20-month timeframe of the contract. The Experts Team is chaired by Tom Isaacs, former Department of Energy Office of Policy director, and includes former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Allison Macfarlane, both of whom have expertise in spent fuel siting and licensing, as well as nationally recognized leaders in radiation science, spent nuclear fuel transportation and nuclear engineering. North Wind will also engage with a broad range of stakeholders to learn their preferences and attitudes about spent nuclear fuel and its eventual disposition.

“SCE looks forward to the development of a strategic plan that brings us closer to long-term solutions for moving spent nuclear fuel off-site,” said Kevin Walker, SCE senior vice president for Customer and Operational Services. “The North Wind team is uniquely qualified to lead this effort and provide a roadmap that will benefit the local community, SCE customers, other stakeholders and the nuclear energy industry overall.”

To develop the strategic plan, North Wind assembled a team of experts possessing many decades of experience with spent nuclear fuel. The team has a depth of expertise in all aspects of this work, including policy and legal analysis, regulatory strategies and compliance, stakeholder engagement, fuel handling and transportation logistics and commercial and financial analysis. Former Energy secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz will lend his considerable expertise to developing the strategic plan.

SCE launched this effort following a 2017 settlement agreement related to the permitting of the on-site expanded spent fuel storage installation. SCE is optimistic that the strategic plan will set forth practical steps that SCE can and will take to support efforts to relocate San Onofre spent fuel to an off-site, licensed facility.

Source: Company Press Release.