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San Clemente Residents Pressure Coastal Commission To Move Nuclear Waste

SAN CLEMENTE ( – Residents who live near the now-closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station scored a victory Tuesday when their city council agreed to put pressure on the California Coastal Commission to get millions of pounds of nuclear waste moved out of their city.

If the California Coastal Commission doesn't rescind the permit to bury the spent fuel rods, Southern California Edison could load canisters with radioactive waste early next year and bury them -- 3.6 million pounds' worth -- above San Onofre State Beach, 100 feet from the ocean.

"The Coastal Commission doesn't even allow roses to be planted in the coastal zone, and yet they allow a nuclear waste dump only a hundred feet from the ocean," one man told the San Clemente City Council at a packed meeting Tuesday night.

The plant was shut down four years ago when unexpected wear was found in the metal tubes that carry radioactive water to the steam generators.

Residents have been demanding that the city write a letter to the CCC urging it to revoke the permit. At the Tuesday meeting, the San Clemente City Council agreed to send a letter to the CCC demanding it move the waste as soon as possible.

"We are sending a loud message to the people who are making the decisions, we are not gonna have all this waste buried here, when there are better solutions," activist Gary Headric told KCAL9.

Even if the CCC does revoke the permit, a large hurdle still remains. It is currently illegal to move the nuclear waste until the federal government comes up with a permanent storage site.

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