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Supervisors Advocate For Removal And Relocation Of Spent Nuclear Fuel


Last updated 9/24/2015 at 2:21pm

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0, with Supervisor Greg Cox recusing himself, on Tuesday, Sept. 15 to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy, urging them to get the nuclear waste still being stored in the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station out of San Diego County.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (with the ironic acronym of SONGS) was closed in 2012 after a radiation leak revealed damage to hundred of tubes inside new steam generators.

According to Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the nuclear waste still being stored in the facility makes it vulnerable in the case of earthquakes, terrorist attacks or other natural disasters. “As long as all that radioactive waste sits at San Onofre, it poses a serious risk to San Diegans and millions of other Southern Californians,” Jacob said.

Back in April, the utility that oversaw SONGS, Southern California Edison, said about one-third of the waste has been moved into dry cask storage containers by a contracted company, and the rest of the waste should be transferred into storage and buried by mid-2019.

Spent fuel is currently stored in dry cask systems at an increasing number of power plant sites because there is no long term storage facility available. Casks are typically steel cylinders with fuel rods surrounded by inert gas welded or bolted closed. Each cylinder is surrounded by additional steel concrete or other material. Many of these casks will be stored in coastal or lakeside regions and cracking related to corrosion could occur in 30 years or less.


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