THE ONE WITH NUCLEAR WASTE
That's happening, right now, 108 feet from the ocean. Our beach is now a literal nuclear waste site. If we ever have a Fukushima event here at home, we would all have to find new homes. Every single resident of CA48 lives within the mandatory 50 mile evacuation zone.
That's over 8.5 million people displaced. Meanwhile, earthquakes in California are a 'when' not an 'if' and the site sits sandwiched between multiple active fault lines. The nuclear material is being buried in concrete and 5/8 inch steel boxes - just above the water table. Salt water is extremely corrosive to both of those. As ocean levels rise, storm systems increase in severity and the threat of a conventional explosion creating a dirty bomb from terrorists, North Korea or Russia intensify, we simply cannot allow this to continue any longer.
The solution is simple, but not easy. Once cooled, place the spent fuel on the adjacent train tracks and get it out of here. The Department of Energy can take it to either Yucca Mountain or one of three sites near Phoenix, Carlsbad New Mexico or west Texas for temporary storage; whoever is ready and willing first.
This has been the Federal Government's responsibility for over 30 years. The 1982 plans for the Department of Energy to take possession/own all nuclear waste and create a Federal home for it never came to fruition. We would seek to immediately work with current pending legislation as well as Department of Energy Secretary, Rick Perry to finalize Federal adoption of the waste on a nation wide, permanent basis.
Congress still has a Nuclear Waste Fund with over $30 billion set aside to deal with this problem.
San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station should arguably be the nation's first site resolved as the Port of Long Beach and Camp Pendleton create massive economic and National Security implications.
The TL;DR Version:
Make no mistake, while this would immeasurably affect over 8.5 million of us Californians locally, a nuclear leak at San Onofre would be absolutely devastating for our National Security and national economy.
Camp Pendleton sits next door to the nuclear waste and is one of our largest West Coast military bases; operating year-round training for our brave Marines, Navy Seals and countless other military divisions, along with being one of only a few sites nationally operating STARS (air traffic control).
In an age of threats to the West Coast (North Korea and Russia) how can the Pentagon and Homeland Security be willing to risk vital bases and ports for our national defense by leaving this dirty bomb on the beach?
50% of all commerce for the United States comes through California; much of it through Long Beach port. 25% of all fruits and vegetables for the nation are grown right here, in California. Allowing a nuclear waste leak to happen would be detrimental for the whole country.
In addition to the base, we would stand to lose shipping routes, Latin American seafood/produce sources and animal migratory patterns. It gets worse at every turn: the sarcophagus they are using only utilizes 5/8 inch steel and a thin concrete wall. As opposed to other regions which use thicker steel and often concrete walls multiple feet thick.
This is about the equivalent of 51 Chernoblys being buried in the sand at a local surf spot in flimsy coffins.
The steel and concrete tombs would not be eligible for inspection, nor repairs, even if leaks were discovered. When an earthquake hits, or in the event of terrorists, North Korea (70+ submarines) or Russia (63 subs) simply detonating a conventional explosive device at the site - we, the residents of the 48th - would be living in a nuclear fallout zone.
While there are many self-interested parties involved, the largest public safety issue moving forward is our preeminent concern. In that effort, the blame game on what's been done is less productive than creating a solution.
Waiting 5 years for this and 10 years for that is no longer an option.
Let's run the Government like a business and work with the waste haulers and temporary storage businesses to get this nuclear waste out of our beach and out of Southern California, now.