To: California Public Utility Commission

Stop California from wasting $400 million on inferior nuclear waste storage canisters

Stop California from wasting $400 million on inferior nuclear waste storage canisters

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) should delay funding nuclear waste dry cask storage systems until Southern California Edison provides written substantiation that significant aging problems identified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are resolved.

Edison plans to make a decision soon on a San Onofre spent fuel dry storage system. It's up to the state to insist these dry cask system aging problems are resolved before approving $400 million.

Edison should be required to solicit bids from cask vendors that do not have these aging problems. And no system should be approved without a realistic plan to repair or replace defective canisters -- which does not exist today!

Why is this important?

The NRC staff, at their July 14th, 15th and August 5th NRC nuclear waste storage meetings, reported failure of nuclear power plant stainless steel components within 11 to 33 years. And they said U.S. stainless steel canisters may crack within 30 years due to stress corrosion cracking. And the hotter the fuel in the canisters, the quicker the crack will go through the wall of the thin (1/2 to 5/8 inch) canisters. Germany uses dry casks that range from about 10 to 19 inches thick.

Storage of high burnup spent fuel only makes the problem worse. High burnup spent fuel (>45GWd/MTU) burned longer in the reactors, resulting in hotter fuel that is over twice as radioactive and unstable in storage and transport.

The NRC reported there is no current technology to adequately inspect the canisters (inside or out) for cracks. This is only one of many critical issues.

And the NRC reported there is no system in place to repair cracked canisters and no system in place to replace failed canisters. Learn more at

The NRC has determined that the tons of nuclear waste generated by U.S. nuclear power plants may stay on-site for up to 300+ years. However, they have not resolved numerous aging issues with the current storage canisters that were originally designed for short-term use. However, the NRC continues to approve the use of these canisters.

It's up to each state to insist on purchasing only dry cask storage systems that will last for as long as the waste must be stored on-site. And to insist that there is an inspection and mitigation plan that works.

Tons of San Onofre nuclear waste is stored in pools and canisters along our coast in San Diego County near the Orange County border -- less than 50 miles from Los Angeles. Tons of waste is also stored in pools and canisters in San Luis Obispo at the operating Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. It is also stored in canisters at the closed nuclear power plants in Sacramento (Rancho Seco) and Humboldt (Humboldt Bay). This is a nationwide issue, since these same canister designs are used all over the country.

The spent fuel pools need to have fuel removed, but not into canisters that may fail short-term and that do not have a real mitigation plan for failure.

There are better solutions, but the NRC says it's up to utility companies to request other dry storage systems. The NRC does not approve a dry storage system unless a vendor requests it. And vendors will only request it, if they have a customer that wants their product. California must be that customer.

Reasons for signing

  • Because we have an obligation to protect our water, our earth, our resources and each other.
  • It's important to stop the ongoing nuclear waste leaks into our environment, our food supply and especially our fresh water aquifers. Aside from causing birth defects and 100% toxic to any human or animal wildlife.
  • We only have one Earth and one life.


2014-12-16 11:25:57 -0800

500 signatures reached

2014-12-10 07:05:12 -0800

Edison is making a decision on this issue soon. Please have your friends sign this petition. Current goal is 500 signatures. We're almost there. Here's a new handout and video to share to explain this issue. We're fighting for this in California, but many nuclear plants across the country use these same inferior thin nuclear waste canisters and anyone can sign this petition.

2014-08-24 16:34:13 -0700

One page handout now available to share at meetings or with your elected officials. Go to

2014-08-24 15:22:56 -0700

100 signatures reached

2014-08-22 12:43:30 -0700

50 signatures reached

2014-08-21 23:45:36 -0700

25 signatures reached

2014-08-21 18:17:14 -0700

10 signatures reached