Since it was closed for safety violations in 2012, the dangers of San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) between Orange County and San Diego have only continued to loom. Listen to this EcoJustice Radio interview with activists from Public Watchdogs explain how the nuclear waste being buried on the beach poses serious dangers to California.
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EcoJustice Radio – San Onofre as Nuclear Waste Dump
Carry Kim from EcoJustice Radio interviews Charles Langley, Executive Director of Public Watchdogs & esteemed Board Member, Nina Babiarz. Public Watchdogs independently monitors energy and infrastructure regulatory agencies in California. It protects the public’s access to clean water and affordable, sustainable energy in order to sustain life, nourish human dignity, and encourage world peace. Public Watchdogs is one of the main organizations advocating for the removal of nuclear waste from San Onofre State Beach.
The nuclear power plant at San Onofre or SONGS (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station) was permanently closed in 2013. The site is currently undergoing the lengthy process of decommissioning which requires the SAFE “disposal” of onsite nuclear waste and the removal or containment of any radioactive materials, including spent nuclear fuel, irradiated equipment and buildings. Facilities are ultimately deconstructed in order to eventually return the site to “greenfield” status, at which time the site would be deemed “safe” for housing, farming or industrial use.
Local advocates and numerous communities have opposed the site of San Onofre as a de facto long-term “nuclear waste dump,” given the inherent risk attributed to the site’s location 100 feet from the ocean, in a tsunami zone on an active earthquake fault, as well as its proximity to Interstate 5 and the railroad track. Not only is the site subject to beach erosion, sea level rise and salt water corrosion, but it also gravely jeopardizes the Acjachemen Nation’s sacred, ancestral territory and the fabled surf break of San Onofre State Beach and its extensive surf community.
Storing spent nuclear fuel in thin-walled canisters, “guaranteed” to last a mere 25 years by Southern California Edison, is considered by many in the local community and beyond, to be shockingly inadequate and a highly risky and unsafe proposition for the entire region from San Diego to Los Angeles. “Whistleblower” David Fritch and former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chair, Gregory Jaczko, have also raised personal concerns about the site and the negligence with which SCE is handling the decommissioning process. As a consequence of recent revelations by David Fritch, the NRC is now conducting an investigation of procedures and safety issues at San Onofre.
Help prevent the long-term storage of 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste in this pristine and sacred location for the benefit of all life. Ensure that the decommissioning process at San Onofre is handled with proper safety, emergency preparedness and forethought necessary for life to continue in this region, free from harmful radiation exposure and reckless corporate negligence.
Check out Public Watchdogs for more information.
Updated 20 March 2023