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San Onofre Task Force Questions Edison About Nuclear Waste Canisters

The site of spent nuclear fuel storage at the San Onofre nuclear power plant ...

Credit: Southern California Edison

Above: The site of spent nuclear fuel storage at the San Onofre nuclear power plant is shown in this photo, January 2018.

Members of a San Onofre Task Force convened by San Diego Congressman Mike Levin are meeting Wednesday with officials from Southern California Edison, which owns and operates the shuttered nuclear power plant in North San Diego County.

The Task Force was created to increase public involvement in the decommissioning of the plant, which shut down in 2012 after a small radioactive leak was discovered in the steam generators.

Levin said several Task Force members are concerned about burying spent nuclear fuel in stainless steel canisters encased in concrete, next to the beach.

“Our task force members had specific questions about those canisters,“ Levin said, “their safety, their design and the wear and tear that the coastal environment takes on them. Those questions were not answered sufficiently. Edison said, ‘We’ll have to have another meeting to discuss that,’ so we took them up on that, and we’re having another meeting.”

Levin said he has introduced legislation to put San Onofre’s nuclear waste at the top of the list to be moved if Congress decides on a location to store the nation’s spent fuel longer term.

His bill to earmark $25 million to identify and develop what’s called consolidated interim storage site recently passed the House Appropriations Committee.

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