Stab Magazine | Trestles Is One Vote Away From Nuclear Salvation

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Trestles Is One Vote Away From Nuclear Salvation

We might not die in a neon green explosion after all!

news // May 16, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Good news from San Diego.

You know those voluptuous concrete breasts that adorn Trestles’ southern coast? Once used as a nuclear power plant, they stored city-sized energy in the form of hot, hot steam, but for years they’ve sagged idly along the coast. As of February 2018, this site was chosen as the resting place for 3.55 million pounds of “spent nuclear fuel”, AKA radioactive sludge, a mere 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean (and uncomfortably close to a fault).

And yes, if you’re wondering, that’s exactly as dumb as it sounds. Just ask Fukushima. 

Due to the inherent risk this puts on our ocean, the Surfrider Foundation (led by a large, vocal San Clemente contingent) has been fighting against the burial of nuclear waste at the Camp Pendleton site but have had little success with their assemblies and protests. A new piece of legislation, however, may save us from the potential ruin.


Not exactly sure what any of this means but it sure looks scary.

From San Diego House Representative Scott Peters:

Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) joined 339 of his colleagues to permit the Department of Energy to begin disposal of millions of pounds of nuclear waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in San Diego. The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act authorizes the first transfer of nuclear waste to permanent storage in the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, a secure site in Nevada that would allow for safe storage.

The SONGS site is sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean, one of the biggest bodies of water in the world, and Interstate 5, one of the nation’s most traveled freeways. The area is home to 8 million residents.

“We need long-term solutions to nuclear waste storage, especially in San Diego, where nuclear-spent fuel is stored just yards away from the ocean,” said Rep. Peters. “For too long, Congress has stalled on ensuring our nuclear storage is secure. I advocated for the inclusion of interim storage measures in this bill because nuclear waste should not be left to accumulate near cities and environmentally sensitive areas. This bill finally takes steps to move spent fuel from sensitive areas like San Onofre to a long-term federal facility.”

Rep. Peters continued, “As sea levels rise due to climate change, the risk to existing storage at SONGS will only increase. This bipartisan legislation is our best chance to mitigate a crisis.”


The one good thing about a radioactive Lowers is there’d be nobody out. Well, maybe Christian Fletcher. Photo: WSL/Wilson

In layman’s terms, the House of Representatives voted to move all 3.55 million pounds of sludge from the coast to Yucca, Nevada, where a nuclear waste repository resides (relatively) safely in the mountains.

However, for this bill to become a law, it must first be approved by the Senate. So we’re one big vote away from salvation.

According to a recent prognosis (which gauges the likelihood of enactment), there’s a 57% chance of this bill passing. It should be noted that it is more difficult for a bill to make it past the Senate than the House. Currently, the bill is in committee before it goes into the Senate for a full vote. 

We’ll keep you updated if/when we’ve been officially saved.

Or if you consider yourself a go-getter, feel free to track the entire legislative process here.


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