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California State Senators Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Bill Monning (D-Carmel) have introduced Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 11 this week that urges Congress and President Donald Trump to approve legislation that would prioritize the removal of spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned nuclear sites in areas with large populations and high seismic hazards.
Bates represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County, and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is located in Senator Bates’ district, and the currently operating Diablo Canyon Power Plant is located in Senator Monning’s district. Their resolution urges the passage of Congressman Mike Levin’s (D-CA, 49th) Spent Fuel Prioritization Act of 2019 (H.R. 2995), which would expedite the removal of California’s nuclear waste to safer locations. H.R. 2995 is currently in the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“California has waited for years for the federal government to do its job and help move the state’s nuclear waste away from densely populated and environmentally sensitive areas,” Bates said. “The Legislature must add its voice for action, and I’m pleased to partner with Senator Bill Monning to urge passage of pending legislation in Congress. Safeguarding our coast from the dangers of nuclear waste should not be a partisan issue.”
In 2016, Sen. Bates authored Senate Joint Resolution 23 that urged the passage of a similar federal bill called the Interim Consolidated Storage Act (H.R. 4745). Former Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA, 49th) supported H.R. 4745, but it did not advance beyond the U.S. House.
The State Senate will consider SJR 11 before it adjourns for the year on September 13.