Our South Orange County chapter has been keeping tabs on this important issue – here's an update on San O's nuclear waste problem and why radioactive materials hanging out beachside for a few more decades is currently the best solution to a lousy legacy.
While Surfrider Foundation is opposed to the storage of nuclear waste in the coastal zone due to the potential harms to our nearshore resources, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) project approved by the California Coastal Commission in October 2015 is regarded as the most prudent option for interim storage.
The site operator, Southern California Edison, currently awaits notification of a final resting place and, in the meantime, the spent nuclear material must cool before transfer to federal responsibility is possible. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has estimated that the movement of the radioactive waste will begin in 2030 and will be completed by 2049, subject to change as the agency is working with multiple decommissioned sites throughout the United States.
This is quite literally a hot issue that Surfrider will be closely following to ensure that the end goal of offsite storage is achieved as safely and quickly as possible.