3.6 million pounds of highly radioactive nuclear waste are currently being buried on the beach at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Diego. Nuclear waste anywhere is dangerous, but storing it just 100 feet from the ocean and a few feet above groundwater creates unnecessary risk. With mounting evidence of rapidly-rising sea levels, the risk of saltwater intrusion is only increasing with time.
Currently, there are spent fuel pools that can be used if a fuel canister fails and needs to be repackaged. The California State Lands Commission’s Environmental Impact Report plans to remove the cooling lines for these, leaving no safeguard in place. In short, the current storage location and premature removal of the spent fuel pools and their cooling inlets and outfalls lack foresight and put the health and safety of the community and environment at risk.
Demand a better solution. Send in a comment on the Final Environmental Impact Report on Decommissioning San Onofre asking the commissioners to take these two actions:
- Decline to approve the dismantling of the cooling systems for the spent fuel pools until there is an alternate facility that can handle a potential failing canister.
- Send a letter to the Coastal Commission suggesting it consider moving the radioactive waste from its current beachfront location to a storage building on the Mesa, a location further east in Camp Pendleton, on higher ground and away from the ocean, which can be better protected, as soon as possible.
We must call for nuclear waste to be moved off the beach to a new temporary storage facility located further east on Camp Pendleton so it can be better protected from sea level rise and other risks. Nuclear waste experts have publicly supported this alternative, including former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko and retired Navy Admiral Len Hering. Moving spent fuel storage to the Mesa or another site further east on Camp Pendleton is the only appropriate and ethical choice we have until a national repository is available. You can send a pre-drafted message via email here, but feel free to edit the text. Please submit your comment by the deadline on Monday, March 18th at 11:59pm.