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Senate Demands Department Of Energy Remove San Onofre Nuclear Waste

Photo caption: The San Onofre nuclear power plant is shown from Interstate 5, Feb. 2, 2015.

Photo by Alison St John

The San Onofre nuclear power plant is shown from Interstate 5, Feb. 2, 2015.

A resolution demanding that the U.S. Department of Energy remove stored nuclear waste at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was approved by the state Senate Thursday.

The resolution, authored by Sen. Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, urges President Barack Obama and Congress to approve a bill in the House of Representatives that would consolidate the storage of nuclear waste. The bill is in the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.

"It's way past time for the federal government to move the nuclear waste stored at San Onofre to a location away from densely populated and environmentally sensitive areas," Bates said. "I'm pleased that my state Senate colleagues have endorsed my call to Washington D.C. to approve pending legislation that would help make Orange and San Diego County residents safer."

The San Onofre plant has been shut down since a small, non-injury leak occurred in a steam generator in January 2012. Operator and majority owner Southern California Edison later decided to retire the plant's two reactors, rather than follow a costly start-up process.

Closing the facility is expected to take a couple of decades, however, so Edison recently received permission to expand nuclear waste storage tanks at San Onofre, despite opposition from environmental groups and local politicians.

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