Report blasts plans to store nuclear waste at San Onofre

SAN ONOFRE (KUSI) — Plans to store nuclear waste at the now-defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) are being blasted in a new watchdog report.

A group called “Public Watchdogs” is releasing a new 450-page report that analyzes the emergency response plans at the non-operational plant owned by Southern California Edison (SCE).

The report criticizes the plants methods of transferring 3.5 million gallons of spent nuclear fuel into steel canisters, which are scheduled to be buried 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean at SONGS.

Several issued the “Public Watchdogs” noted in the report are:

  • A potential disaster could be 40-times more catastrophic than “Chernobyl,” a 1986 nuclear accident in the USSR.
  • The exemptions granted to SCE are recklessly interpreted by regulators and therefore they violate public safety and national security.
  • Only three people will regulate the nuclear waste.
  • Regulations no longer require prompt public notification in an emergency. If there is an emergency, SCE is no longer obligated to notify the public within 15 minutes.
  • A requirement to respond to terrorists is waived, meaning SCE employees are no longer obligated to plan how to respond to a terrorist attack.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency will not respond if there is an emergency because it has been eliminated.
  • Small local governments will now be responsible for evacuations and emergency response if there is a problem.

Last month, SCE announced it would start negotiations aimed at moving the waste to another location. Proposed locations include a site in Arizona, 50 miles from Phoenix, and Yucca Mountain.

Categories: Local San Diego News