Ocean Protection
June 15 2018

California Unites to Call for Federal Solution at SONGS

by Mandy Sackett

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.

One of our key campaign tactics is to ask local and state governments to unite on this critical issue. To that end, we have been able to generate significant outcry to our federal representatives from several important government voices.

Surfrider is asking local and state governments to call upon Congress to initiate a consent-based siting process with a mandatory timeline and resolution date for when this nuclear waste will be permanently removed from San Onofre beach.

Ultimately, the federal government is the only entity that has the power and funding to solve the nation’s nuclear waste storage issues – and get spent fuel removed from San Onofre. Congress must take action to secure a location for a geologic repository deep underground that isolates this radioactive storage from the biosphere. We need legislation that not only authorizes new contracts for consent-based interim consolidated storage facilities, but also requires the siting of a final resting place and a mandatory timeline for waste transport and permanent storage. A panel of experts on nuclear waste hazards, transport and storage should be utilized to address the issue as well.

Thus far, the California Coastal Commission, City of San Diego, City of Aliso Viejo’s City Manager, City of Carlsbad and City of Imperial Beach have heeded Surfrider’s request and sent letters to federal representatives demanding the measures described above.

Most recently, the City of Imperial Beach approved and sent a letter at their June 6 City Council meeting. Councilmember Mark West remarked, “As a leader in San Diego County, the City of Imperial Beach is calling upon our federal representatives to ensure the quick and safe removal of spent fuel from San Onofre. A disaster at SONGS would impact our entire state, including Imperial Beach - just 70 miles south of the waste storage site.”

The fact remains that the federal government is the only entity that can supply a long-term solution for storage of nuclear waste off site – so please join us in calling upon Congress to step up and address this important and pressing issue today by signing our action alert and speaking to your local governments about putting the pressure on the federal government!

For more on Surfrider’s efforts check out other blogs: