Protest Targets Coastal Commission Permit To Bury Nuclear Waste At San Onofre

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
By Alison St John
Credit: Google Earth
Above: Google Earth image showing new location of nuclear waste storage site at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant (bottom left corner).

Protestors opposed to burying nuclear waste near the beach at San Onofre plan to rally Wednesday morning before California Coastal Commission meeting in San Diego. The rally is part of ongoing protest over a permit the Coastal Commission granted two years ago.

The Coastal Commission put a 20-year time limit on the permit, allowing Southern California Edison to partially bury spent nuclear fuel rods 100 feet from the ocean at San Onofre.

But opponents of the plan say the federal government has spent several decades looking for a permanent storage site for the country’s nuclear waste — and failed.

The opponents believe once the spent fuel is in canisters in the ground, there is a risk it will remain there for decades to come.

A lawsuit demanding the Coastal Commission rescind its permit has brought Edison to the negotiating table for settlement talks.

Efforts are underway to establish interim storage sites in Texas and New Mexico, but Congress has yet to approve that legislation.

News this week of problems at the Hanford nuclear waste storage site in Washington State highlight the potential risks of nuclear waste storage when no long-term solution has been identified

The California Coastal Commission meets at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday through Friday at the San Diego County Administration Building, 1600 Pacific Highway.