Commission Approves Demolition of San Onofre Nuclear Plant, But It Could Take 10 Years

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The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been offline since January 2012. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

The California Coastal Commission has approved a plan to dismantle much of the San Onofre nuclear power plant that was closed seven years ago.

The commission on Thursday unanimously approved the plan by Southern California Edison that includes removing most “visible elements” of the coastal plant, including its twin reactor domes.

However, KGTV-TV says demolition and decontamination could take up to a decade to complete. The site currently is storing 3.5 million pounds of nuclear waste that has nowhere else to go. That waste would remain until another storage location is found.

San Onofre was shut down in January 2012 after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of extensive damage to hundreds of tubes inside the virtually new generators.

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