|Update, June 17, 2021: On June 16, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge issued a tentative ruling on the Samuel Lawrence Foundation (SLF) lawsuit. A final ruling has not been made.|
This lawsuit, and the problem of stranded nuclear waste at the defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in northern San Diego County, was highlighted on Lawrence O’Donnell’s Last Word on MSNBC in a nationally televised interview with San Diego congressman Mike Levin.
O’Donnell prefaced the interview by stating that the fate of the nuclear waste dump will be in the hands of a single judge when a lawsuit by the Samuel Lawrence Foundation is heard in Los Angeles Superior Court court.
Throughout the interview O’Donnel referred to the SONGS location as “Earthquake Bay.” Coincidentally, this is also the title of Public Watchdogs first whitepaper on the geology of the San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump.
According to the Los Angeles Times “The public interest is at risk, based on [the commission’s] decision,” said Chelsi Sparti, associate director of the Samuel Lawrence Foundation, based in Del Mar. “The waste is located right next to the ocean, [and] the economy, transportation, the environmental and natural resources that we have are at risk from the long-term storage of stranded radioactive waste.”
“We need the ability to replace storage canisters as they degrade from age or damage,” foundation president Bart Ziegler said in a statement. “The only available facility is the spent fuel pool and the Coastal Commission is permitting the utility to destroy it.”
SONGS stopped generating electricity in January, 2012, after its replacement steam generators leaked a plume of radioactive steam into the environment. The failure left millions of pounds of deadly radioactive waste stranded at the facility. The radioactive waste, which is in solid form as “used-up nuclear fuel” is deadly for at least 250,000 years. It is being stored in containers that are guaranteed for 25 years.
On May 28, 2021, Public Watchdogs filed legal documents with the Supreme Court of the United States requesting that its case be heard.