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California Coastal Commission approves $4.4B San Onofre decommissioning project

The California Coastal Commission approved the $4.4 billion decommissioning project for the retired San Onofre nuclear power facility in San Diego County.

Southern California Edison Co., the majority owner of the project, will finance the project through existing trust funds, according to an Oct. 18 news release. The utility expects to begin major decommissioning work in 2020.

The project involves dismantlement of plant structures and decontamination of the site. The dismantlement phase is expected to take up to 10 years to complete. SONGS Decommissioning Solutions will act as the decommissioning general contractor.

The Edison International subsidiary said the timely approval of the decommissioning project would allow it to deliver an inspection and maintenance program for the Holtec UMAX dry storage system to the commission in March 2020, instead of previous schedule of October 2020.

As part of the project, SoCalEd will also install a continuous radiation monitoring system in the dry spent fuel storage facility. The data will be analyzed and shared with the public, the utility said.