By Jim Shilander
Critics of Southern California Edison and the decommissioning process for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station denounced the utility’s security plans for the site, noting a lack of ability to respond to airborne threats and vulnerability of its spent fuel pools and dry storage casks.
New San Juan Capistrano Community Engagement Panel representative Pam Patterson said she was “not feeling confident” about the current plans, noting that the plant could potentially be vulnerable to a hijacked flight from John Wayne Airport, as well as doubting whether the plant’s security would be able to handle a terrorist assault.
Edison officials said security plans include having a number of defensive positions, an experienced security staff and the ability to call on other forces, such as the Marines, as well as extensive screenings or personnel to weed out potential saboteurs.
Members of the CUP were to meet with members of the California Energy Commission to encourage the development of a state interim solution for storage for spent nuclear fuel, which is currently under control by the federal Department of Energy. A potential solution at Yucca Mtn. in Nevada is unlikely now that a proposed permanent repository has stalled.