Energy Secretary Affirms Commitment to Spent Fuel Solutions
On April 21, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm became the first Energy Secretary to visit the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Following a tour of the facility, Secretary Granholm joined Rep. Mike Levin and Edison International President and CEO Pedro Pizarro for a news conference that highlighted the importance of consent-based siting as well as the DOE's commitment to finding solutions for our nation's spent fuel. Secretary Granholm remarked, "The Department of Energy is committed to getting this right. We have developed a comprehensive plan stretching from interim storage to permanent disposal, and the transportation logistics, and the infrastructure to boot." Congressman Levin also added, "We got $20 million for the program, and subsequently the Department of Energy issued a Request for Information, or RFI, last November to restart the consent-based siting process. I was also thrilled to help secure an additional $20 million in fiscal year ‘22 for the department to continue to advance this work and to build on this success." Also present on the tour were members of our coalition's Advisory Council.
Coalition Provides Input on Consent-Based Siting for Offsite Storage
Late last year, the DOE released a Request for Information (RFI) on consent-based siting for federal consolidated interim storage. This milestone is an important step in restarting the federal spent fuel management program. Action for Spent Fuel Solutions Now (ASFSN) submitted a response to the RFI on March 4, providing input rooted in international best practices for achieving informed consent and a commitment to stakeholder engagement, equity, and long-term community partnerships. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this process and appreciate the DOE’s leadership as we work to find solutions for our nation’s spent nuclear fuel.
ASFSN Surpasses 200 Members, Secures Resolutions of Support
Since the coalition launched in March 2021, ASFSN has made significant progress building broad-based support for the relocation of spent nuclear fuel from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Our membership now exceeds 200 local governments, elected officials, utilities, environmental groups, labor leaders, Native American leaders, business organizations and residents from Southern California and beyond. The Oceanside and Laguna Niguel city councils recently became the latest local governments to pass resolutions of support, joining three counties, five other cities and the Capistrano Unified School District. We would like to thank all of our supporters, and we look forward to continuing this momentum.
Article Highlights Successful Spent Fuel Solutions in Finland
Science magazine recently published an article about Finland’s successful efforts to site a spent fuel repository. Currently under construction, Onkalo will be the first spent fuel disposal site in the world. The story provides details about Finland’s consent-based approach to siting, emphasizing the importance of community consent. Similar processes are currently underway in Canada, Sweden and France. The story also includes the expertise of Tom Isaacs, Former Director of the Office of Nuclear Waste Policy within the U.S. DOE. Isaacs currently volunteers on the ASFSN Advisory Council and serves as an Independent Strategic Advisor to Southern California Edison.