Del Mar asks for stricter regulation for disposing nuclear waste at San Onofre

Del Mar City Hall
(Jon Clark)

Del Mar City Council members are asking the state Legislature and governor to address their concerns over the safe handling and storage of nuclear waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Southern California Edison stopped generating power at San Onofre in 2013. For the first part of the decommissioning process, the utility is transferring the used nuclear fuel into dry cask storage, according to a report from Del Mar Deputy Mayor Ellie Haviland and Councilman Dwight Worden.

“We’re calling on the governor and our Legislature to find a better way to handle that nuclear waste,” Worden said. “Move it inland, don’t use these thin-walled casks that are high-risk and protect us. We’re all in the risk zone.”

Thirty-one canisters are stored in an onsite storage vault, and 42 still need to be transferred. The Del Mar resolution calls for the storage of waste in reinforced buildings and in better canisters, among other safety requirements.

Council members said they’re waiting for the U.S. Department of Energy to handle the long-term disposal of nuclear waste from San Onofre and other power plants around the country.

“I think it’s imperative to involve the state Legislature and the governor,” said Del Mar resident Alice McNally, one of a few public speakers who supported the council’s resolution. “They need to be a part of this.”

--Report by Luke Harold