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Parties In San Onofre Nuclear Waste Storage Suit Reach Settlement

August 29, 2017 1:28 p.m.

Parties In San Onofre Nuclear Waste Storage Suit Reach Settlement

GUEST:

Ray Lutz, founder, Citizens Oversight

Related Story: Parties In San Onofre Nuclear Waste Storage Suit Reach Settlement

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Our top story on midday edition, Southern California Edison has agreed to take an active part in exploring alternative sites to store spent fuel from the closed San an of rain nuclear power plant. That agreement as part of a lawsuit settlement announced today. Edison has agreed, in part, to a timetable, to develop a storage and transportation plan and a five-year time limit to begin moving the nuclear waste from San an Opera. Joining the Israelites, from citizens oversight, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Welcome.Thank you, glad to be here.Edison did not respond to our interview request.The notice of the settlement, a shared interest in moving this spent fuel to an off-site facility. When did Edison develop this interest? Within the permanent storage at Senate operate their idea?There hands are beside, -- are a bit tied, this is only 100 feet from the water next to a major freeway, rail line, next to a major earthquake fault. It is next to a .4 million people, you cannot find a worse place for nuclear waste facility. The coastal still -- commission allowed this, even though they don't allow roses to be planted. Southern California Edison was looking at this, I think, it is one of those things where everybody kind of has to go along with the bad idea and unless someone says no, they continue to do it. This is, what I think happened, we blew the whistle on a.What has Edison agreed to do about developing an alternative plant and what is their timetable?They have to hire some experts that we have identified, top experts in the nation with regards to nuclear waste plans and transportation and degradation of materials. These are the dates we need then to get together, because we do not have the expertise. They have agreed to hire these people, get a plan together or include a transportation plan which is a very critical part. If possible, investigate the Palo Verde nuclear plant which is one site that is part of the agreement that they have to look into. We have to ask those people, they are part owners, we buy a lot of power from that nuclear plant in California. It is not like we have some mutual interest, that is once I, the other one is in West Texas and eastern New Mexico where they may have some consolidated storage sites made available. They have to look into the sites and see what may be available in the near term so that we can get this moving. Without this, there would be no planning and no starting to move it, that is the big difference.Is it fair to say that in the short term, however, at least the next 5 years, this agreement does not change the plans to store the waste and send it over?That is true, if they did get it to change the plans, everyone says, we do not want to shoulder the liability of something happening they have to move in the most safe as possible, without deviating too much, until they have a real plan. They do not have a plan on the table right now, they are not working on it until the settlement cannot. [ laughter ] that is what we have gained. Another big thing that we gained, they moved the timetable for inspection and repair of these canisters, it was not going to happen until until 2025 move that up to 2020.How far has the original plan move forward? How much is already in dry cast? There are two installations, one is the older one which was started in the last millennium, and then improved over the last 15 years, they expanded that, now there's this new one. There 61 canisters, the new one -- 51 canisters, the new one has an unfilled 75 locations. The reality is that we were not able to get agreement on this to not proceed as they had planned. That is true.How big a win is this for San Diego?I think it is a very big land, this would not have happened without us in the game. Southern California Edison was not going to do this unless they had some reason to do this, some pressure, this lawsuit applied that pressure and forced them to take these steps. Maybe they would have done it, 30, 40 or 50 years from now, we have moved up the timescale so they are taking the steps now.Do think the public has a role in making sure that southern California Edison keeps to this timetable ?absolutely, public pressure is going to be key. If an accident did happen, while they twiddle their thumbs and try to work on this, they had tickets to work on this and they waited until now. If there is an accident it would devastate the cost. If you are a real estate owner, the value of your real estate would go to zero. Essentially, it is all in our best interest to realize that this is a key issue for this entire area to become safe. There should be no nuclear plants or nuclear waste in California. We are much too hazardous thing on the Ring of fire. This is not where you want to put any nuclear power of any kind. It has all been silence because the nuclear industry does not want to talk about these thorny issues. They are never brought up, if they are never brought up, people do not realize how bad they are. Once they start looking at the issues, transportation, that is going to be not that easy. It's going to be everyone closes the nuclear plants.I've been speaking with Ray lots of citizens oversight. Thank you very much.Thank you very much. [ music ]