Storing Nuclear Waste At San Onofre: It’s Only Complicated If You Are Confused About The Issues

The Shortboard "Thin Can"  VS Longboard "Thick Cask" Debate

Storing nuclear waste at San Onofre: it’s only complicated if you can’t tell the difference between a shortboard and a longboard, and where each should be paddled out.

The Shortboard “Thin Can” VS Longboard “Thick Cask” Debate

A “cask” is the thick radwaste metal container (10 to 19 inches thick).  The “canister” OR “can” is like the ½ to ⅝  of an inch steel cans at San Onofre. Think of a can as a shortboard, and a cask as a longboard.

Or let me put it to you this way so as to be perfectly clear.


A “canister” OR “can” is like the ½ to ⅝  of an inch steel cans Edison has a permit for at San Onofre. A “cask” is a thick radwaste metal container up to 19 inches thick, this is an important distinction to make if we want to discuss safety at San Onofre from a factual point of view.

The Nuke Waste At Sano
The Issues From A Factual Point Of View

  1. This waste is onsite now, 3,600,000lbs of it.
  2. This waste has nowhere to go in the foreseeable future
  3. Edison has chosen thin walled cans over thick walled casks to store this radwaste, the NRC expects the waste to be here for 300 years.
  4. Each can would hold as much radiation as was released from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, each can is only warrantied for 20 years.
  5. Edison promises these “Chernobyl Cans” won’t leak. Do you forget the 40 year rating of the replacement steam generators? They lasted less than one year before leaking radiation, Edison lied about that radiation leak into our community for days after the event.
  6. Each can would have no internal monitoring.
  7. A can would have no “defense in depth” or “multiple layers of failure”
  8. Cans crack from exposure to salt air and engine exhaust
  9. There is no approved way to test or repair cracks in these cans.
  10. A cracked can, can have no seismic rating and cannot be transported
  11. Each can would be on the beach, straddling an earthquake fault, in a tsunami zone,
  12. Surrounded by millions of people, and thousands of surfers.
  13. Why are you still reading this? Toss these cans in the trash.

Rescind the Coastal permit for this badly planned nuke dump on the beach at San Onofre.

Demand Thick Walled Metal Casks, Not Cans
Make anything purchased for San Onofre Nuclear Waste match the location that we find ourselves in, using the best thick-wall cask technology available in the world.  Let this become the standard of waste management.

Safety should be our only concern.  

UPDATE the April 14th 2PM  hearing has been CANCELLED.

Superior Court Central Courthouse, Dept C68
220 W Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Google Maps Link

Storing Nuclear Waste At San Onofre: It’s only complicated if you are confused about the issues and don’t want to think about the facts. #SaveTrestles our very own #StandingRock

Aging Nuke Plants On Fault Lines In Tsunami Hazard Zones = Fukushimas… Any Questions?
PLEASE Turn off a light for Fukushima USA / San Onofre

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ACTION ALERT Request San Onofre Agenda Items Be Moved To Newport Beach Coastal Commision Meeting

Request to move San Onofre agenda items to Newport Beach meeting

The California Coastal Commission meeting on changing the San Onofre spent fuel pool cooling system is still scheduled for Santa Barbara on May 14th.

Please request the Coastal Commission to change it to the Newport Beach meeting. 
The Coastal Commission needs to hear from more of you.  
They are getting pressure from Edison to speed up yet another experiment in nuclear waste dump managment.

Send request for meeting change to

Subject:  Request to move Southern California Edison San Onofre agenda items to Newport Beach meeting

These waivers are for major changes to the San Onofre spent fuel cooling systems, air cooling systems and the ocean discharge systems. These are very significant issues.

Please move the decision on the Southern California Edison Coastal Development Permit Waivers (9-15-0417-W and 9-15-0162-W) from the May 14 Santa Barbara meeting to the June Newport Beach meeting.

It will take over 4 hours to drive to Santa Barbara from San Diego and over 3 hours from South Orange county.  Given the length of time and starting time of the meeting, this is an undue hardship for the people most impacted by these decisions. There doesn’t appear to be any significant reason or legal deadline to justify this hardship.

The Coastal Commission website states:
The Commission meets once a month in different locations of the State in order to facilitate public participation. Staff attempts, whenever possible, to schedule matters for hearings that will be relatively close to the location of a proposed development. However, legal deadlines for action may require that the hearing on an item take place in a different area than the proposed project.

We don’t know which day in June the waivers will be addressed. They do not list them on the agenda.  I do know they will be under the section labeled as:


Report by the Deputy Director on permit waivers, emergency permits, immaterial amendments & extensions, negative determinations, matters not requiring public hearings, and status report on offshore oil & gas exploration & development. For specific information contact the Commission’s Energy, Ocean Resources, and Federal Consistency Division office at (415) 904-5240.

Even if you don’t plan to speak at the meeting, we need you to show up or at least write for the delay of the meeting.  The Coastal Commission is our friend, but not if we don’t express an interest.

Here’s the link to meeting rules.

It doesn’t appear the chillers Edison proposes are “nuclear grade chillers”.  The Coastal Commission was told they are “commercial grade chillers”.  And as usual, the NRC is not doing their job. They don’t plan to inspect until after the new systems are installed, so we cannot count of them to even review this new method of cooling spent fuel pools filled with hot fuel that can boil the water out, if the pools are not kept cool. 

Using water chillers to cool spent pools appears to be another Edison experiment. In fact, We have found only one that used chillers and it had fuel that didn’t need cooling.  Edison told the Coastal Commission that “chillers are commonly used in commercial industries” and that “spent fuel pool islands” have been used at nuclear plants.  However, these misleading statements don’t mean that chillers are used for spent fuel pool island cooling.  We have asked both the NRC and Edison to provide me a list of nuclear spent fuel pools cooled with chillers. We do not have a response from either of them, even though we have requested this at the last CEP meeting.  We’ve followed up with Edison via email, but do not have a response yet.  

Here’s a document that talks about methods of cooling spent fuel pools as well as how to save water use at nuclear plants.  It does not list water chillers for cooling spent fuel pools, even for decommissioned plants.  It even has information about Diablo Canyon and Palo Verde cooling systems and water use.

IAEA Technical Reports: Efficient Water Management in Water Cooled Reactors, No. NP-T-2.6, November 5, 2012
Aging Nuke Plants On Fault Lines In Tsunami Hazard Zones = Fukushimas… Any Questions?
PLEASE Turn off a light for Fukushima USA / San Onofre

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