It took 32 months to complete, but the transfer of dozens of canisters filled with nuclear waste from wet storage pools to a newly constructed dry storage facility at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station wrapped up Friday.
Shortly before 5 a.m., workers lowered the 73rd and final canister of spent radioactive fuel into its assigned enclosure at the north end of the plant, known as SONGS for short.
At commercial nuclear plants, after radioactive fuel used to generate electricity loses its effectiveness, its is placed in metal racks that are stored in cooling pools, typically for about five years. Once cooled, the fuel can be transferred to a dry storage facility, which is generally considered a safer place for it.
Officials at Southern California Edison, the operator at SONGS, said completing the transfers is a key part of the company’s eight-year plan to dismantle most of the structures at the plant, which has not produced power since 2012 and is being decommissioned.
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