Dismantling of Closed San Onofre Nuclear Plant to Begin Next Month

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View of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in north San Diego County on March 15, 2011. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

View of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in north San Diego County on March 15, 2011. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Dismantling of the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on the Southern California coast will begin next month.

Southern California Edison this week mailed 30-day notices of the key timelines to 12,000 residents in communities within a 5-mile (8-kilometer) radius of the plant.

The process will include removal of buildings, containment domes and other above-ground structures associated with the two reactors.

Large pipes that took in and discharged ocean cooling water will also be removed along with buoys and anchors.

San Onofre went into operation in 1967 on the shoreline between Los Angeles and San Diego.

The plant 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 steam generators.

The plant never produced electricity again. Edison closed San Onofre for good in 2013 amid a fight with environmentalists over whether the plant was too damaged to restart safely.

San Onofre remains home to 3.5 million (1.59 million kilograms) pounds of spent fuel and nuclear waste. The waste is being transferred from storage pools to concrete storage holes.

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