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Former NRC Chief Says San Onofre’s Nuclear Waste May Never Be Moved

San Onofre Beach as PERMANENT Nuclear Waste Dump, Wilder Utopia BY THE OUTPOST AUGUST 7, 2018 According to a former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chief, the beach in front of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station could become a permanent nuclear waste dump. Learn why Edison’s program of storing deadly nuclear waste on the beach is not a “temporary” plan. And cartoonist Jerry Collamer weighs in.

Former NRC Chief Says San Onofre’s Nuclear Waste May Never Be Moved

By Alison St John,  KPBS

A former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Southern California Edison should stop burying nuclear waste next to the beach at San Onofre.

Greg Jaczko was the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2012 when Edison shut down San Onofre because of a radioactive leak. He said plans to move the waste elsewhere may never materialize.

Southern California Edison spokeswoman Maureen Brown said the company has now transferred more than 26 canisters, about one-third of the still highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel remaining in cooling ponds at San Onofre, into dry cask storage on site. The canisters are loaded with spent fuel rods, moved across the site and lowered into vertical casks set in concrete. Only the 74 concrete lids are visible, lined up right next to a seawall.

“According to our outer planetary research team, this was once a delightfully pleasant population of coastal inhabitants, living an upscale beach life when the BIG ONE hit, dislodging those highly radiated canisters, releasing their deadly radioactive contaminates into the air. As the ol’ saying goes, “the rest is history.” But, that was 2,000 years ago, making confirmation of the research impossible. Other rumors say the dinosaurs caused it.” – Divined by Jerry Collamer

At a community engagement meeting arranged by Edison, Chief Nuclear Officer Tom Palmisano said the plan is to move the nuclear waste elsewhere once it has cooled to safer, interim storage, possibly in Texas or New Mexico.

“Our commitment is to support any reasonable and safe way to move fuel out of San Onofre, whether it’s a permanent repository, one of these two projects, or something not yet on the horizon,” Palmisano said.

But Jaczko said don’t count on it.

“Because, quite frankly, once they get loaded, I don’t see them ever taking those canisters out of there,” Jaczko said. “Realistically, they are not going to move them out, so those permits will be extended, the operational period will be extended on indefinitely and you will have a de facto burial site there.”

The problem of what to do with nuclear waste is a national one because the federal government has not agreed on a long-term storage site, Jaczko said.

“There’s a tendency to want to make the problem go away, emotionally and mentally, and when you bury things, it’s easier mentally to not worry about them,” Jaczko said. “Very quickly, people came to this conclusion that the way you solve this problem is you find a place where you can bury and forget: it’s literally called ‘bury and forget.’ You bury the waste and you forget about it.”

Sea Level Rise

Tom English is a retired electrical engineer who has advised the U.S. government and industry on nuclear waste disposal. He lives in Carlsbad, 25 miles south of San Onofre. Moving spent fuel rods out of cooling ponds and into dry storage casks is a good idea, English said, but not if the bottom of those casks are just feet above mean high tide levels.

“If you are involved with high-level nuclear waste disposal, the first thing you think of is to keep it away from water, because the water allows the radionuclides to spread through the environment, causing all sorts of havoc, wrecking ecosystems, cancer, etc.,” English said.

……..State Lands Commission EIRNext week, the California State Lands Commission holds hearings in Oceanside on a Draft Environmental Impact Report on the decommissioning of San Onofre. The report will guide the state’s approval of future decommissioning activities at San Onofre. However, the report does not analyze the options of the already approved nuclear waste storage site, because, the draft report explains, “its operation is under the exclusive authority of the U.S. government.”

Edison plans to complete the transfer of the remaining spent fuel rods into dry casks by next year. Then the company hopes to dismantle the spent fuel pools and most of the remaining structures on the site. But not the spent fuel storage. That has a permit from the California Coastal Commission to remain until 2035.

“You have to recognize that this is not a short-term solution,” Jaczko said. “Whatever is going to be done with this spent fuel is probably what’s going to happen with this fuel for decades, if not centuries. So you have to think about this as a long-term solution.”

“I think the first thing they should do right now, is stop loading casks,” Jaczko said.


August 10, 2018 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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