Last night, the California Coastal Commission got together — presumably in collared shirts with khakis — and had themselves a vote. They collectively decided to say yes to Southern California Edison’s plan to bury 2,700 spent nuclear fuel assemblies 125 feet from the sea wall at San Onofre.
I understand that first paragraph may have been a bit confusing. This is SURFING Magazine — not exactly your one stop shop for all things fission. When it comes to science, I consider myself a biology guy. You want to talk Phylum? Photosynthesis? I got you dawg. But potentially devastating decisions on what to do with a very large amount of nuclear waste? I had to do a bit of research. Here are some learnings that better explain the first paragraph.
California Coastal Commission: A group of people whose mission is to “protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.” There are twelve voting members. Here’s more on who they are, and how they got there.
Southern California Edison: The people who bill you for electricity. They own the gigantic tits of San Onofre, and all of the fun stuff that comes along with a defunct nuclear power plant on the Pacific Ocean.
2,700 nuclear fuel assemblies: A considerably dangerous amount of large rods that will be very radioactive for a very long time.
125 feet: Fucking sketchy.
Fucking sketchy because earthquakes and tsunamis and everything else this Golden State is prone to. The plan is to bury it here for at least 20 years, then see if a better option exists.
And how will this effect your day-to-day? It won’t. Hopefully. Unless a natural disaster strikes or the coaster erodes faster than it is expected to, in which case you’ll be wearing a hazmat suit next time you surf Lowers.