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San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Photo: Andrea Swayne
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Photo: Andrea Swayne

By Eric Heinz

California’s State Senate approved a resolution Thursday to urge the U.S. Department of Energy to pass a bill that would allow for temporary interim storage of spent nuclear fuel at facilities away from San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, a few miles south of San Clemente.

The Senate Joint Resolution presses the federal government to pass the Interim Consolidated Storage Act of 2016, supported by Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Vista). Language in the bill requires areas that would take the nuclear waste to gain consent from the facility accepting it as well as the neighboring communities. Areas in Texas and New Mexico have been mentioned as possible storage sites.

A press release from State Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) stated the nuclear waste stored at the current facility is on or near earthquake faults.

A proposal to permanently store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada fell through in 2009, and Southern California Edison, the majority stockholder of the now-defunct power plant, obtained a permit last fall from the California Coastal Commission to store the spent nuclear fuel on-site.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy John F. Kotek will attend the next Community Engagement Panel meeting hosted by SCE, according to a Monday press release from Issa’s office. Issa has been pushing for the Department of Energy to host one of its nuclear energy storage meetings since it began a national tour earlier this year.

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