Radioactive material from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) will be making a short trek from the now closed units to a spot next to the beach — a move that has outraged community activists, who fear it will remain buried there for decades to come.
The paradox is an obvious one: the spent fuel generated by nuclear energy can only be stored on site where the units are located, which leaves Edison International’s Southern California Edison few options over where on site it can go. Right now the “nuclear waste” is in “wet pools” inside the defunct plants. But the utility is beginning to transport it to dry storage where it will be put in thin canisters and encased in concrete before it is buried. The process could take 20 years.