SANTA ANA, CA (April 27, 2021) –The Orange County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a resolution in support of Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now, a coalition formed in March 2021 to advocate for the relocation of spent nuclear fuel currently stored on site at the retired San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) to a federally licensed facility. The coalition’s founding members include representatives from the County of Orange, County of San Diego, Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric and the City of Riverside.
“It is completely unacceptable that 123 canisters of spent nuclear fuel are currently housed along our coastline with no federal solutions for offsite consolidated interim storage, or a permanent geological repository, anywhere in sight!” said Orange County Supervisor and Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now founding member Lisa Bartlett. “I am committed to making every effort and turning every stone to bring about the federal action our residents deserve.”
As a coalition member, Orange County joins elected officials, utilities, environmental groups, labor leaders, Native American leaders, business organizations and other community members seeking federal off-site storage or disposal solutions for the spent nuclear fuel stored at SONGS and other facilities across the United States. Spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored at SONGS for decades, but the plant cannot be fully decommissioned, and the land restored until the federal government takes action to facilitate an off-site solution.
“I applaud the Orange County Board of Supervisors for taking action towards removing spent nuclear fuel from our coastline. I am encouraged to see community stakeholders coming together to form a coalition, Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now, whose primary objective is to help advance the path to a federally licensed storage facility,” said San Diego County Supervisor and coalition founding member Jim Desmond, who represents the district where SONGS is located.
Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the federal government was required by law and executed contracts with nuclear power providers to begin taking possession of and disposing spent nuclear fuel back in 1998. However, it has not yet fulfilled its legal and contractual obligations more than two decades later. Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now was formed to create a broad-based voice of support to advocate on this important issue.
“Finding solutions for spent nuclear fuel disposal will take support from a broad range of stakeholders, and counties play a key role. Today Orange County signaled this issue is vital and demands attention now,” said SCE Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Caroline Choi, who also serves as one of the coalition’s founding members. “We look forward to more stakeholders joining this movement in the near future.”
As a next step, Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now plans to continue expanding its membership, raise awareness, and take action to urge federal legislation and appropriations that allow for the removal of spent fuel from Southern California’s coastline.
Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now is a new group of local governments, elected officials, utilities, environmental groups, labor leaders, Native American leaders, business organizations and other community members who support the relocation of spent nuclear fuel to a federally licensed facility away from our coastline. Our founding members include representatives from the County of Orange, County of San Diego, Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric and the City of Riverside. For more information about Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now, visit spentfuelsolutionsnow.com. For information about SONGS, visit songscommunity.com.