SAN DIEGO – Southern California Edison announced today that UC San Diego professor David Victor will serve as chairman of a new Community Engagement Panel formed to educate and involve the public during the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Victor, 48, a professor of international relations and director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at UCSD’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. He’s considered an expert on energy markets and is recognized as a forward-looking voice on critical energy issues, said Ron Litzinger, president of SCE, the plant’s majority owner.
”David Victor has the vision, leadership and experience to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to ensure the San Onofre decommissioning proceeds in a thoughtful and inclusive way,” Litzinger said. ”He shares our commitment to leave the community better off given that it has been home to San Onofre for the past 40 years.”
The nuclear power plant along the northern San Diego County coastline has been idle since January 2012, when a small, non-injury leak was discovered. Citing the costs of returning the two reactors to operation, Edison decided last June to shutter the facility.
Edison operated and owns the majority of the plant. San Diego Gas & Electric owned 20 percent of the facility and received one-fifth of its power.
Edison said the panel will serve as a conduit of information between the owners and the public.
Among the organizations that have accepted invitations to serve include the San Diego chapter of the American Nuclear Society, the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees, the city of Dana Point, the Laborers International Union of North America Local 89, the city of Oceanside, Orange County Coastkeeper, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the county of Orange, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment, the city of San Clemente, the county of San Diego, the city of San Juan Capistrano and the South Orange County Economic Coalition.
Camp Pendleton and the state Parks Department also plan to participate, according to the utility. Members representing academia and environmental research are being invited.
Victor said his work on the board of Electric Power Research Institute and as chairman of the institute’s advisory council for two years helped prepare him for the CEP role.
”To serve a broader public mission, it’s important to solicit views from a wide array of stakeholders,” Victor said. ”Because I served in that role at EPRI, I know firsthand the importance of being responsive to diverse voices to ensure broad public interests are served in a major undertaking like decommissioning San Onofre.”
The panel is expected to meet quarterly.