Photographs of dry casks for nuclear waste storage at San Onofre

Below are recent photographs of casks that are being stored at San Onofre State Beach from the now-defunct SONGS (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station).  If all goes according to plan, Southern California Edison, the owner of SONGS will store millions of pounds of high-level radioactive waste that’s deadly to humans for millions of years about 100 feet from the beach and a few inches above the water table.

Each cask is warrantied by the manufacturer, Holtec, to last up to twenty years. On October 6, 2015, the California Coastal Commission issued a temporary renewable permit to Southern California Edison to store the waste onsite, making San Onofre the world’s first dual-use public beach and nuclear waste dump.

These concrete enclosures hold each of the giant dry casks like a large cupholder.
These concrete enclosures hold each of the giant dry casks like a large concrete cup holder. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

A closer view of the cask enclosures. The object in the foreground is a "dry cask." The thin-walled casks are covered in tarps to protect the delicate steel hull from saltwater and salt air corrosion.
A closer view of the cask enclosures. The object in the foreground is a “dry cask.” The thin-walled casks are covered in tarps to protect the delicate steel hull from salt air corrosion .Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

A closer view of the cask enclosures. The object in the foreground is a dry cask covered in a tarp to protect the thin-walled stainless steel from saltwater and salt air corrosion.
An closer view of the cask enclosures. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

Each of these covered dry casks is a stainless steel tube awaiting a spent nuclear fuel rod assembly. After the fuel rods are inserted into the casks, they are welded shut and filled with helium to prevent fires.
Each of these covered dry casks is a stainless steel tube awaiting a spent nuclear fuel rod assembly.  After the fuel rods are inserted into the casks, they are welded shut and filled with helium to prevent fires. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

More than 80 casks will be filled with spent fuel rods from the heart of San Onofres' failed nuclear reactors.
More than 80 casks will be filled with spent fuel rods from the heart of San Onofres’ failed nuclear reactors. The solar powered parking lights above them give you a good idea of how big these casks really are. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

The hull on each Holtec HiSTorm cask is 5/8 of an inch thick. If these casks were shrunk down to the size of a beer can and built to sclae, they would be about as thick as a beer can and weigh somewhere between 8,000 and 13,000 pounds.
The 8,000 pound beer can:  The thin walled hull on each delicate Holtec HiSTorm cask is 5/8 of an inch thick. If these casks were shrunk down to the size of a beer can and built to sclae, they would be about as thick as a beer can and weigh somewhere between 8,000 and 13,000 pounds. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

This aerial view of SONGS, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shows where the casks will be buried.
This aerial view of SONGS, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shows where the casks will be buried.

 

If all goes according to plan, San Onofre will be the world's first dual use public park and high-level nuclear waste dump. The western edge of the dump will be about 100 feet from the public beach.
If all goes according to plan, San Onofre will be the world’s first dual use public park and high-level nuclear waste dump. The Western edge of the dump will be about 100 feet from the public beach. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

This drawing, which is not to scale, shows how close the new high-level radioactive aste dum will be to the beach. Note that the bottom of the delicate stainless steel containers is just inches above the water table, which is filled with corrosive salt water.
This drawing, which is not to scale, shows how close the new high-level radioactive waste dump will be to the beach. Note that the bottoms of the delicate stainless steel containers are just inches above the water table, which is filled with corrosive salt water.

 

The new San Onofre Nuclear Wate Dump was approved for construction by political appointees at the California Coastal Commission, which approved the permit prior to holding the legally required public hearings.
The new San Onofre Nuclear Wate Dump was approved for construction by political appointees at the California Coastal Commission, which secretly approved the permit prior to holding the legally required public hearings. The dump is yards from the LOSSAN Rail Corridor and the Interstate 5 Freeway.  More than 8.5 million people live in the 50-mile radiation plume radius identified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

 

The new radioactive waste dump is located near unstable cliffs. It rests on top of an earthquake fault lline and is in a tsunami zone. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org
The new radioactive waste dump will be located near unstable cliffs. It will rest on top of an earthquake fault line and is located in a tsunami zone. Photo: PublicWatchdogs.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Photographs of dry casks for nuclear waste storage at San Onofre

  1. I walk the State Beach and San O on a regular basis- there is no beach in front of the plant unless it is low tide. The surf beach has lost lots of parking this year because the entire beach has lost sand. Also- yesterday because it was an extremely low tide you could see how rusted the inlets were someone could easily cut the remaining bars and enter the plant through the 2 inlets . The giant metal rings are no longer attached and all that is left is some smaller pipes running across.

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