SONGS emergency preparedness plan exemptions approved

Caption: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved Southern California Edison (SCE)’s request to change its emergency preparedness plan for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in California.
NRC approved the changes that are in the form of exemptions from certain requirements that may not be appropriate for a plant undergoing decommissioning. Once SCE implements the exemptions, state and local governments may rely on comprehensive emergency management planning for off-site emergency response at SONGS rather than having a dedicated offsite radiological emergency response plan approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As a result, there will not be a 10-mile emergency planning zone in the license. The plant will maintain an onsite emergency plan and response, including the notification of state and local governments for an emergency declaration.
SCE provided analyses to show that the risk of an offsite radiological release from the shut down SONGS is unlikely and that the exemptions are warranted. NRC staff evaluated and confirmed the analyses, and the Commission approved the exemptions on March 2. The exemption package was issued June 4.
The dual-unit SONGS shut down in January 2012 for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, but workers found premature wear inside tubes in the steam generator that was too costly to repair. SCE announced in June 2013 that it was permanently shutting down the plant. All of the spent fuel has been moved from the reactor into pools for storage.
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