Dismantling San Onofre nuclear power plant will cost $4.4B

An aerial shot shows the San Onofre nuclear power plant in this undated file photo.

Southern California Edison says it will take 20 years and $4.4 billion to dismantle the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

The utility says the work, which is set to begin in 2016, includes decommissioning units 2 and 3, plus managing and storing the used nuclear fuel until the federal government comes up with a permanent storage plan. They also need to restore the property for future use.

Edison closed the plant for good last year after finding extensive damage to tubes carrying radioactive water.

Edison's plan estimates that the decommissioning process will have minimal impact on local air and groundwater quality or on noise and traffic congestion. The final decommissioning plan will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as soon as September.

Officials say the utility already has enough money on hand from customers to pay for the project.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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