San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), operated by Southern California Edison (SCE) is approximately 100 km (60 mi) south of Los Angeles, 6.5 km (4 mi) south of San Clemente, CA. It is located between I-5 and the Pacific Ocean, within the boundary of the Camp Pendleton military reserve. The site originally comprised three nuclear power plants. Unit 1 commenced operation in 1968, and shut down in 1992. On June 7, 2013, Southern California Edison (SCE) announced plans to permanently retire Units 2 and 3 and it is currently in the decommissioning process.


Interjurisdictional Planning Committee (IPC)

Created in 1991, the IPC is made up of local and state agencies which include representatives from:

  • City of Dana Point
  • City of San Clemente
  • City of San Juan Capistrano
  • Orange County
  • San Diego County
  • California State Parks
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
  • Southern California Edison

Members meet on a monthly basis to coordinate SONGS-related emergency planning, preparedness, and response activities.

SONGS-related Emergency Planning, Training, and Exercises

The County of Orange remains committed to planning for and responding to any potential emergency at SONGS. While the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) exempted SCE from some activities related to off-site agency coordination, the NRC acknowledged the emergency management activities supported under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) purview. To that end, all IPC members, including the County, continue to pursue risk-informed emergency planning related to SONGS.

How Will I be Notified if There is an Emergency?

You will be notified of an emergency by community alert sirens, roving public address systems, and/or emergency phone calls. The sirens are a signal for you to turn your radio or television to a local Emergency Alert System (EAS) station for important information from local officials. Please do not call 911 if you hear the sirens, unless you have a life-threatening emergency. The following radio stations will broadcast emergency information:

KWVE FM 107.9 - Santa Ana
KOGO AM 600 - San Diego

SCE has indicated that it will no longer maintain the sirens after June 30, 2019.

Even without the sirens, the County and local jurisdictions have the ability to issue alerts and warnings to the public through landlines, cellular phones, television, and radio.

What is Potassium Iodide?

Potassium iodide, or KI, is no longer considered to be a protective action for the SONGS. If you have KI, please contact your city emergency manager for information regarding appropriate disposal. The material provided below is for informational purposes only.

KI is a chemical compound that contains iodine and can protect the thyroid gland from exposure to radioactive iodine. KI is only effective against exposure to radioactive iodine and only protects the thyroid gland. It does not protect against other types of radioactivity that might be released during a nuclear emergency. Please note that KI is not an anti-radiation pill and it is considered a supplemental protective measure, secondary to evacuation or sheltering in place. It should only be taken at the direction of state or local public health officials. It is approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is available over the counter.

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