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Monday, May 16, 2022

Pursuing The Nuclear Option

In the market for some old equipment used at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station? Well, there’s plenty to pick over – and, no, it’s not radioactive. MRI Auctions Inc. of Simi Valley completed the first of what could be a series of auctions from the plant, which was shut down in January 2012 after leaking radioactive steam. The closure could cost Southern California Edison some $4 billion and now the utility is trying to make a few dollars back. Included in the three-day auction that took place in San Clemente were large CNC manufacturing machines, metal fabrication equipment, a seam welder and more than a dozen other goodies that come with running a nuclear power plant. None of the equipment was directly used in nuclear operations, but was used for maintenance, fabrication, testing and inspection. Maureen Brown, an Edison spokeswoman, said auctioning the materials is considered standard decommissioning practice. “This enables us to take desirable equipment that’s complex and in demand and it put it in the hands of people that need and want it,” she said. Brown said there were 242 bidders for the materials and that Edison sold about 95 percent of the equipment available at the auction. Onsite bidders were required to fork over a $500 cash deposit and online bidders had to wire in $1,000. She declined to provide any financial details regarding the auction, and MRI, which specializes in industrial auctions, declined comment. Brown said the San Onofre plant will take about 20 years to dismantle, adding that the sale of old equipment isn’t over. – Elliot Golan

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