Environment & Science

San Onofre: Panel backs nuclear fuel storage plan for defunct power plant

The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.
The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.
Stock photo by Rian Castillo via Flickr Creative Commons

The California Coastal Commission has cleared the way for changes in the way radioactive fuel is stored at the defunct San Onofre nuclear power plant.

The commission on Tuesday granted a 20-year permit for Southern California Edison to shift spent fuel into steel canisters sheathed in concrete.

Currently, only a third of the fuel at the site between Los Angeles and San Diego is housed in canisters. The rest is in storage pools.

Critics at a hearing in Long Beach argued the commission was creating a nuclear waste dump that could leak or be damaged by flooding.

However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has called the plan safe.

The nation has no long-term storage site for radioactive fuel from commercial nuclear plants.