San Onofre News Archive

2017: Tracking Federal Legislation that address next steps needed to remove spent nuclear fuel from onsite dry storage at San Onofre

US Rep. D. Issa introduced H. R. 474, Interim Consolidated Storage Act of 2017, on Jan. 12, 2017

A BILL: To amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to authorize the Secretary of Energy to enter into contracts for the storage of certain high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, take title to certain high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, and make certain expenditures from the Nuclear Waste Fund.

Sierra Club has not endorsed H.R. 474.  However, the Angeles Chapter San Onofre Task Force has highlighted important language included in H.R. 474 for consideration in any future Federal legislation needed to authorize and fund long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel as follows:

"priority for storage given to high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel located on sites without an operating nuclear reactor."

The San Onofre plant was shut down in 2013 and is one of several closed commercial nuclear power plants in the US with spent nuclear fuel left in onsite storage.  Removal of such stranded spent nuclear fuel is not currently a priority in federal law.  The Angeles Chapter is pressing for removal of all stranded spent nuclear fuel as a top priority when the Department of Energy is able to accept it for long-term storage.


Chapter's stance on what to do with San Onofre's spent nuclear fuel

Date: Monday, October 5, 2015
Author: Glenn Pascall
The California Coastal Commission will meet Tuesday in Long Beach to hear testimony about the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Power Station in San Diego County and how to best store spent nuclear fuel. This is the Chapter's stance. If you want to attend, the meeting starts at noon Tuesday at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. Here's a link to the agenda and other details, including how to live stream the session.
To: California Coastal Commissioners Effie Turnbull-Sanders, Dayna Bochco, Mary Luevano, Wendy Mitchell, Mary Shallenberger and Mark Vargas:
I write in support of the application by Southern California Edison Company to construct and operate an Independent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) for storage of spent nuclear fuel from Units 2 and 3 at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Station in San Diego County.
Those who care about the California coast have two primary concerns regarding spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre. The first concern is to move fuel rods from pools to dry cask storage as rapidly as possible. The second concern is to remove storage casks from the vulnerable San Onofre site at the earliest available opportunity.


San Onofre Community Engagement Panel to Discuss Security, Used Fuel Storage
ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 6, 2015 — The San Onofre Community Engagement Panel (CEP) will discuss nuclear plant security and storage of used nuclear fuel during its regular quarterly meeting April 16 in San Juan Capistrano.
The CEP was formed to advise the co-owners of the San Onofre nuclear plant on decommissioning the facility and to foster public education and involvement during decommissioning.
Tom Palmisano, vice president of Decommissioning and chief nuclear officer for Southern California Edison (SCE), majority owner of San Onofre, said the CEP also will welcome several new members on April 16: Glenn Pascall of the Sierra Club, who replaces Gene Stone of Residents Organized for a Safe Environment; Tom Caughlan, who replaces Larry Rannals as the Camp Pendleton representative; and two new city representatives, Dana Point Mayor Carlos Olvera and San Juan Capistrano Mayor Pro Tem Pam Patterson.
“The Community Engagement Panel has made significant contributions this past year on issues ranging from emergency planning to safe storage of used nuclear fuel,” Palmisano said. “We look forward to continuing this dialogue to ensure that safety, stewardship and engagement remain at the forefront as we prepare to dismantle San Onofre.”
The public is invited to attend the meeting from 6-9 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion. There will be a public comment period and the meeting will be live-streamed via
SCE announced in June 2013 that it would retire San Onofre Units 2 and 3, and has begun the process to decommission the facility. SCE has established core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement to guide decommissioning. For more information about SCE, visit

Nov. 13, 2013

  • Sierra Club seeks a 'better outcome' for closed San Onofre nuclear power plant

    What happens next? San Onofre nuclear power plant shouldn't become a mausoleum for nuclear fuel waste.



Stop the Nuclear Waste Con!

November 14, 2013 (Carlsbad, CA)

The NRC Draft Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement is Unacceptable.  
Much of it appears to be based on unsubstantiated hope.

WHAT:  U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Public Meeting to receive comments on the Draft Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement Report and Proposed Rule.

WHEN:     MONDAY, November 18, 2013

              5 p.m.          CDSO Press Conference
              5 - 7 p.m.      Overpass Light Brigade
              6 - 7 p.m.      NRC Open House (Q&A with NRC Staff)
              7 - 10 p.m.    NRC Public Comment Meeting

           WHERE:  Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad CA 92008



Community Symposium on Decommissioning San Onofre



Saturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
Center for Spiritual Living,1201 Puerta Del Sol, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA 92673.  
Press Conference:  1:00 pm, Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the same location

In June, civic and environmental activists won a big victory when the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant ceased operations permanently. The current dispute over defective technology between Edison and Mitsubishi confirms how necessary this outcome was.

Environmental and citizen groups had only a short time to celebrate averting the risk posed by continued operation of the plant. Almost immediately it became clear that this site, wedged between Interstate 5 and the Pacific shoreline, poses a huge challenge of radioactive nuclear waste stored at the plant.



Comunicado de Prensa
Simposio Comunitario sobre el Desmantelamiento de San Onofre

Sábado, 19 de Octubre, 2013, 1:30 a 4:30 p.m.
Center for Spiritual Living, 1201 Puerta Del Sol, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA 92673
Conferencia de Prensa: 1:00 p.m., Sábado, 19 de Octubre, 2013, en el mismo lugar

En Junio activistas cívicos y del medioambiente lograron una gran victoria cuando la accidentada planta nuclear de San Onofre dejo de operar permanentemente. Actualmente el conflicto sobre tecnología defectuosa entre Edison y Mitsubishi confirma lo importante de este resultado. 

Las organizaciones civiles y medioambientales tuvieron poco tiempo para celebrar el cierre de operaciones y el riesgo que sostiene esta planta. Casi inmediatamente fue evidente que la ubicación de la planta, entre la autopista Interestatal 5 y la Costa del Pacifico, presenta enormes desafíos para guardar residuos radioactivos.



KUCI Radio Talk Show Interview with Glenn Pascall about Community Symposium on Decommissioning San Onofre

Tue, 08 Oct 2013 08:30

KUCI: The Heather McCoy Show
Estrogen & Protein For Your Mind, Copyright 2005

Glenn Pascall joins us to talk about the aftermath of closing San Onofre Nuclear power plant as well as the Community Symposium on Decommissioning San Onofre which will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Living,1201 Puerta Del Sol, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA 92673.


Sept. 29, 2013

San Onofre nuclear power plant: High burn-up fuel used at the decomissioned site raises new concerns.




June. 18, 2013

San Onofre: A hard-won victory
Author: Glenn Pascall, Chair, San Onofre Task Force

Environmental activists and local citizens breathed a collective sigh of relief on June 7 when Southern California Edison announced it was abandoning efforts to restart the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Clemente. ...


Failed San Onofre Nuclear Plant to Close, Persistent Protest Pays Off

June 7, 2013 – A red letter day in Southern California as Edison International announces the closure of the failed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) near San Clemente, California.

Thousands of Sierra Club activists joined many environmental organizations to protest the promised partial restart of one nuclear generator by Edison, and how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was evaluating that request.  We will post reactions of many of those activists and organizations throughout the day.

Read the full statement released today by Edison international..

Follow comments on our news blog or Facebook.

Related news stories:

LA Times: Edison will shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant for good

Orange County Register: San Onofre nuclear plant to shut permanently, Edison says

The News Tribune: Calif. utility will close troubled nuclear plant

Wall Street Journal: Edison International to Permanently Retire Two Units at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station


KUCI 88.9FM interview with Glenn Pascall - Audio Stream Available Soon

On Wednesday, May 1, Glenn Pascall, chair of the San Onofre Task Force, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, was interviewed on KUCI at 88.9 FM in Irvine.

Non-Profits for Us with Deanne
Focus on Non-Profits — People, Structure, Events
An interview with San Onofre Task Force Chair Glenn Pascall. The Sierra Club is urging public support on saying no to Southern California Edison's request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to restart generating unit 2 at San Onofre.

KUCI broadcasts at 88.9FM to the Irvine, CA and UCI area, and can be heard in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Orange and Tustin.

PRESS RELEASE:  February 12, 2013

San Onofre Restart Requires Thorough and Transparent NRC Hearings 

In January 2013, the San Onofre Task Force of the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter delivered a statement to Dr. Allison M. Macfarlane, Chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), entitled “Twelve Reasons to Retire San Onofre”.  Today as the NRC meets in Capistrano Beach, CA to discuss the current regulatory oversight status of San Onofre nuclear power plant, the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter will deliver two messages reflecting the critical nature of issues related to restart of the San Onofre nuclear generators.   MORE>>

PRESS RELEASE:  December 13, 2012

Twelve Reasons to Retire San Onofre

12/13/2012 -  The problems facing the operators of the San Onofre nuclear power plant raise fundamental concerns.  We do not believe it makes sense to try to resuscitate this aging and deeply troubled power plant in the face of these hurdles.

1.  Computer modeling by Mitsubishi did not predict serious defects with its steam generator design.

2.  The steam generators system failure is unprecedented and still unexplained.  

3.  Operating a restarted Unit 2 under partial power may be impacted negatively by failures and shutdowns in the facility housing it.  

4.  The costs per kilowatt and in total for partial operation may exceed those for full operation.

5.  Workforce instability may impact plant safety and reliability.

6.  Sabotage exposure may increase costs for enhanced security.

7.  The plant’s tidewater location exposes it to earthquake and tsunami risks.

8.  Attempting to evacuate more than 8 million people from the local area would create unmanageable gridlock if a crisis occurred.  

9.  Personal injury liability exposure would increase in a restart due to the level of known risks and concerns.

10.  Rear-guard action to keep the plant going neglects development of forward-looking alternatives to meet regional energy demands.

11.  Regulators have put retroactive ratepayer rebates on the table that would offset utility revenue from a recently approved rate structure. 

12.  Costs of operation could easily outweigh investor return expected from keeping part of the plant open, preventing cost recovery.

Read the full statement.   MORE>>

Read the Press Release. MORE>>

Sierra Club seeks rate reprieve  
Stop the Ratepayer Subsidy, Make Shareholders Accountable

10/26/2012 - San Onofre has been shut since January yet ratepayers have been paying $54 million a month in charges for the plant – an average $10 for each household in its service area. The defective system that forced shutdown cost $771 million yet only $137 million is recoverable through the manufacturer’s warranty.

Press Release. MORE>>

Sierra Club statement.  MORE>>  

Glenn Pascall delivers statement. VIDEO>>