Ocean Protection
June 02 2017

Get Nuclear Waste Off California’s Coast!

by Jennifer Savage

Ensuring that the 3.6 million pounds of spent nuclear waste fuel rods at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) are safely relocated continues to be a top priority for Surfrider in Southern California.

Since our last post, Surfrider has continued to work diligently to pressure Congress and to urge local governments in South Orange County to join us in demanding consensus-based storage siting away from the beach with a strict timeline for implementation from the federal government.

This effort has included:

  • A nationwide action alert
  • Working with a coalition of local environmental organizations
  • Meeting with Senator Kamala Harris’ staff in both California and Washington, D.C.
  • Meeting with Representative Daryl Issa’s staff in Washington, D.C.
  • Meeting with multiple city officials and attorneys in South Orange County
  • Speaking at city council meetings about the need for local governments to unite on this critical issue
  • Submitting inquiries to the Community Engagement Panel and Southern California Edison's engineering staff

In addition to the public safety at stake in this densely populated area, we must protect critical open space, wildlife habitat, cultural resources and the San Mateo Creek watershed that the San Onofre State Beach supports. With the threat of sea level rise looming in this dynamic coastal area, this area never should have been considered for storage of nuclear waste, which is why Surfrider continues to advocate for its removal – this is the last place dangerous nuclear waste should be kept.

And yet, here we are. And SONGS is not the only place on California's coast where this problem exists; up north, nuclear waste lies next to Humboldt Bay in proximity to multiple fault lines. The San Luis Obispo Tribune called out the problem of “stranded” nuclear waste at decommissioned Diablo Canyon in an excellent editorial, “The federal government promised to take spent nuclear fuel. It’s time it kept its word." The OC Register similarly walked readers through the problem, and how "the gears may become unstuck" back in January

But wherever the waste, the fact remains that the federal government is the only entity that can truly supply a long-term solution for storage of nuclear waste offsite – so please join us in calling upon Congress to step up and address this important and pressing issue today!

 

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