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Anxiety over the San Onofre nuclear wastes, and all of America’s growing pile of radioactive trash

Navy ponders what to do with site of San Onofre nuclear facility San Diego Tribune, Rob Nikolewski, Contact Reporter, 5 Nov 17,   The anxiety over the 3.55 million pounds of nuclear waste sitting at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) dominates most of the discussion about the future of the site.

After all, the spent fuel is located in what many say is the most vulnerable site imaginable — about 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean, next to one of the most heavily traveled freeways in the country (Interstate 5), in an area with a history of seismic activity and within a 50-mile radius of where 8.4 million people live.

But often overlooked is what will eventually happen to the land where the plant currently sits, which is carved out of an 85-acre chunk of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, owned by the U.S. Navy.

Back in 1964, an easement was issued by the Department of the Navy to Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to construct SONGS.

About one-third of the waste at SONGS is sitting in what is called “dry cask storage.” The remaining two-thirds are in “wet storage,” where the assemblies are being cooled. Dry storage is considered safer than wet storage.

Starting next month, workers at SONGS will begin the slow process of transferring the fuel assemblies in wet storage to a dry cask storage site that recently wrapped up construction.

The transfer is expected to be completed in 2019.

Like waste at nuclear facilities across the country, the spent fuel at SONGS is stuck on site until the federal government opens a repository to receive the nearly 80,000 metric tons that has piled up over the years.


November 6, 2017 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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