Exemptions for some emergency procedures at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station are six to nine months away from Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval, according to Joe Anderson, commission Office of Nuclear security branch chief Oct. 9. \u201cThe probability of an event is very low,\u201d Tom Palmisano, Edison chief nuclear officer told the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel. An \u201cevent\u201d can be a radioactive leak, or a fire, or anything not under normal operation. \u201cWhat drives the requests\u201d for emergency process exemptions \u201cis the change in hazards,\u201d Palmisano said to the community organization. \u201cThe fuel is significantly less radioactivite than when it was shut down\u2014that\u2019s not to [diminish the threat] of long-term radioactivity,\u201d added Palmisano. The highly radioactive spent fuel is expected to take three or more years to cool down to the point that it can be off-loaded into dry cask storage, according to sources. During that time, a loss-of-cooling accident could occur, according to Edison and regulatory sources. \u201cOnce de-fueled, traditional accidents . . . are no longer applicable,\u201d said Anderson. Those are some of the underlying assumptions for Southern California Edison\u2014the operator and 80 percent owner of the plant\u2014to apply for emergency process exemptions from federal regulators. While commission staff evaluates the exemption requests, Edison applied for a series of license amendments that would \u201cessentially implement those suggestions,\u201d according to commission spokesperson David McIntyre. Exemptions are opposed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and several other Congressmembers.