DAY ONE: CPUC EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS ON SAN ONOFRE

(Image above: from when the hearings went live on Oct 22, 2013)

Two last-minute motions were heard in the Evidentiary Hearings about the Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Funds for San Onofre yesterday.

Judge Melanie Darling made it clear that she does not like last-minute motions, “they disrupt the process and the hearing preparation of all the other parties; they are disrespectful; and they could have been all filed earlier.”

She never-the-less granted the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre’s (CDSO) motion that the proceedings be televised. Judge Darling remarked that this was unusual, but there were no objections. Anyone interested can follow this link http://www.californiaadmin.com/cpuc.shtml

San Diego Gas &Electric’s (SDG&E) motion that portions of the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) testimony be struck from the record was denied.

SDG&E’s attorney, Emma Salustro, argued that the Coalition intended to speak about a number of matters – like waste management, spent fuel management, spent fuel storage options, licensing options, and also types of nuclear fuel that are used at these sites – that are outside of the scope of this hearing. They were under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) jurisdiction.

In response, Martha Sullivan said that the pointed out that the NRC had made it clear that it had “very little approval or direct control over the decommissioning plan, even when it’s eventually submitted to them.”

When she denied SDG&E’s motion, Judge Darling cautioned the CDSO to “please, to think about your questions and make sure that they are on the relevant topics, not on matters that are of  NRC jurisdiction. This is not the proceeding which will decide the decommissioning strategy for San Onofre’s nuclear units. This is a high-level unspecific unit cost type of process that we look at for cost estimates here.”

The first witnesses gave evidence pertaining to the cost of decommissioning SONGS.

One of the first items discussed was when the spent reactor fuel would be removed from unit #1. Though Southern California Edison’s timetable stated 2036, the CDSO cited the Blue Ribbon Commission’s fining that, “the geologic repository will not be available until 2048.”

SCE has already accrued $115 million in expenses and has around  570 employees on the site. That number is expected to drop to 400 by next year.

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