Nuclear waste from San Onofre sent out of state

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SAN DIEGO – The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s unit 2 reactor vessel head was removed two years ago and it was shipped Monday to a storage facility in Utah.

Around 77 tons of low grade nuclear waste was also included in the shipped materials.

“The low level waste is commonplace,” said Maureen Brown, spokeswoman for the power plant.

Brown said this movement is not part of the decommissioned nuclear plant dismantling process, but it shows San Onofre is making progress and moving forward.

Some concerned residents in the area said they aren’t worried about what the power plant transported Monday. They’re more concerned about the high level radioactive nuclear waste left behind.

“It’s very dangerous,” said resident Ace Hoffman.

“Right now, there’s no solution to get it out of there,” said Donna Gilmore, another resident.  “This is the kind of stuff that could force us to evacuate.”

San Onofre officials acknowledge there is potent radioactive high level nuclear waste at the plant, but they assure it’s well protected and maintained.

“We have a good track record for storing high level waste safely,” said Brown.

For now, there’s nothing the power plant can do to dispose of the potent waste.

“Short answer, used nuclear fuel has been stored here safely for over three decades and will do that until the federal government comes up with a plan,” Brown said.

Plant officials are expected to submit a blueprint for the dismantling process sometime next year.

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