Don Mosier | Rimini Road
Congressman Mike Levin (D-49th) has selected community members and technical experts to serve on a task force to generate policy recommendations for improving the safety of the decommissioning process currently underway at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) and to provide guidance for plans to move the spent nuclear waste to a safer location. Levin hosted the first meeting of the SONGS Task Force on April 25th in Oceanside along with the co-chairs, Admiral Len Hering and former Nuclear Regulatory Committee (NRC) Chair Gregory Jaczko.
The task force is large with representation from technical experts, elected officials, emergency planners, and local activists who have long been engaged in the discussion about SONGS and public safety. I am pleased to report that I was selected to serve on the task force. The first work product will be a white paper reporting the technical issues to be settled before nuclear waste can be moved from SONGS and policy decisions (most at the federal level) that will provide more robust oversight (e.g., a permanent onsite NRC inspector) of movement of spent nuclear fuel assemblies from cooling pools to dry canister storage, a process that remains on hold as the NRC studies issues related to damage to the canisters that has occurred during the transfer procedure. That white paper is expected to be available by the end of October this year following what promise to be robust discussions between technical experts and policy makers.
Mike Levin will attend all full task force meetings (there will be technical and policy subcommittees) and report on legislative action in Washington. There are a host of technical obstacles to moving the nuclear waste to another site, so any time schedule for a move is impossible to predict until these obstacles are better understood, and solutions developed.