San Clemente Times
Rep. Darrell Issa, CA-49, attended a Congressional hearing earlier today that focused on spent nuclear fuel, particularly at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), that was conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The hearing was related to the bill that Issa is sponsoring, H.R. 3053, which would amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 to allow for interim storage of the spent nuclear fuel.
Currently, SONGS operators are waiting for the Department of Energy, which has the ultimate authority on the spent fuel, to find a permanent location for it. Click here to read about the the latest updates regarding the process of storing the spent fuel onsite at SONGS.
The hearing included testimony from David Victor, Ph.D., the chairman of the Community Engagement Panel, which is intended to keep the public abreast of operations at SONGS. When questioned by Issa whether there were safer places within the United States to store the spent fuel, Victor concurred that it would be better than storing it near a major interstate highway and next to the ocean.
“There are a lot of places that are a lot smarter,” Victor said.
The bill was approved by the Committee on Energy and Commerce in late June, and a report on the bill was ordered to be presented when and if the bill is heard on the House floor this year. Victor said at the latest Community Engagement Panel meeting that he doesn’t see any problems with it passing the House, but the Senate could be a more difficult scenario, as other policy measures have taken precedent.
Other testimony was given by Anthony J. O’Donnell, a commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission and Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; Chuck Smith, a Council member of Aiken County, South Carolina, on behalf of Energy Communities Alliance; Edwin Lyman, Ph.D., a senior scientist for Global Security Program and Union of Concerned Scientists; and Katie Tubb, a policy analyst at the Institute for Economic Freedom and The Heritage Foundation.
The video below contains footage of the entire hearing.