This photo from San Onofre Safety shows where Southern California Edison wants to store nuclear waste. It’s circled in yellow.
The company making the canisters has already been in trouble.
By the end of 2011 Holtec International had to close its office in Kiev as it had come under harsh criticism worldwide. It is widely believed that the company has lost licenses in some countries because of the poor quality of its containers resulting in radiation leaks. Westinghouse and Holtec are members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).
What could go wrong????? This is only located adjacent to millions of Californians and on the ocean.
From San Onofre Safety
Southern California Edison plans to make another bad decision by unsafely storing over 1600 metric tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste.
Below is the proposed location for the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX thin “underground” spent fuel canister system at San Onofre. Half under ground, and close to the water table and about 100 feet from the ocean. Edison admits the Sea Wall hasn’t been maintained so can’t be counted on for protection. This plan doesn’t meet Coastal Act requirements, but Coastal Commission staff think there are no other options, but there are.
Request Coastal Commission REVOKE Nuclear Storage Permit
The California Coastal Commission granted a Coastal permit for the San Onofre Holtec nuclear waste storage facility with “Special Conditions” that are unlikely or impossible to meet.
Special Conditions require a storage system that can be inspected, repaired, maintained, monitored, and transported without cracks – but only after 20 years. The Coastal Commission recognizes the Holtec system does not currently meet these requirements, but have been convinced by Edison and others there are no other reasonable options and someday these problems will all be solved. However, there is insufficient evidence to support that and evidence to the contrary.
Reasons to revoke SoCal Edison Coastal Development Permit #9-15-0228
• Coastal requirements for nuclear waste storage should be met now, not deferred 20 years.
The Coastal Commission may not have the jurisdiction to choose casks, but can require their special conditions be met now. Thin (1/2” to 5/8” thick) stainless steel canisters can crack, cannot be inspected,
repaired, maintained or adequately monitored. Cracked canisters cannot be transported. The Coastal Commission should require a system that does not have these flaws and not accept promises of future solutions.
• Edison can meet Coastal requirements with thick casks. For example, Areva sells thick (over 10” thick) metal casks to the U.S. market, and to most of the rest of the world for storage and transport.
The Areva TN‐32 and TN‐40 are licensed by the NRC. The TN‐24 used at Fukushima survived the massive earthquake and tsunami. Spent fuel must cool in the pools for a few years, so choosing proven thick storage casks will not significantly delay removing fuel from pools.
• Canisters cannot be repaired. Holtec President says these canisters cannot be repaired.
• Partially cracked canisters cannot be transported. NRC Regulation 10 CFR § 71.85.
• Canisters may crack. The NRC states it takes about 16 years for a crack to go through the wall of thin stainless steel canisters and canisters are vulnerable to cracking from marine environments.
A similar component at the Koeberg nuclear plant failed in 17 years with numerous cracks. A Diablo Canyon canister has all the conditions for cracking in a 2‐year old canister.
• No funds are available to relocate this system. Once the system is installed, there are no funds to rebuild and move it to a different site, so it is not reasonable to expect it will be relocated (even onsite).
Edison’s $1.3 billion Spent Fuel Management Plan to the California Public Utilities Commission assumes nothing will go wrong and they will not need to pay to move the fuel on‐site or elsewhere.
Edison’ plan assumes the Dept. of Energy will start picking up the fuel in 2024, which Edison admitted to the CPUC is unlikely.
• Vaporware is not a solution. The Coastal Commission should not base decisions on “vaporware” – promises of solutions that do not exist with no guarantee they will exist in the future. Even State of California procurement rules do not allow procurement of “vaporware”.
• Edison plans to destroy the spent fuel pools. Pools are the only method to replace canisters.
The Commission should add a special condition to not destroy pools unless a better plan is in place.
• Existing 51 thin canisters may have cracks. Fuel loading into thin canisters began in 2003, so “special
conditions” for aging management and related issues should be addressed now.
Act now: Email Joseph.Street@coastal.ca.gov More info & references at SanOnofreSafety.org