After a grueling 16-month battle, San Onofre’s nuclear power plant will officially retire its twin reactors. The OC “boobies” are famous for resting on top San Onofre State Beach, a spot that has received even more publicity lately because of the seemingly never-ending controversy over building a toll roll through Trestles, one of the world’s best surf breaks.
Nestled in between San Diego and Los Angeles right off the I-5, the power plant has not “produced electricity since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water,” reported CBSNews.com.
Photo: Surf Channel / Shannon Quirk
The money that has been pumping into this project over the course of just over a year reaches roughly $500 million in repairs, replacement power, and the plant’s ongoing operation; all of which has been going on Southern California Edison’s tab, the plant’s main operator.
The regulatory process to restart the plant would have reached well into next year, stateed the LA Times. Although shutting down the plant immediately relieves locals and protestors, questions still arise as to what will happen next.
One of the biggest questions as to how the electricity – which can power close to 1.4 million homes – will be made up, has been loosely answered by the California Public Utilities Commission which says, “it will work with governments to make sure Southern California has enough electricity.”
As far as where the nuclear waste will go that has been sitting in San Onofre’s power plant, that remains unanswered. Surfers and beach goers have reasons to celebrate, however, since the decommissioning of the power plant will ensure cleaner waters in the future.
Although the removal of the plant is a step in the right direction for conserving California’s state beaches, there is still work to be done to ensure the 241 toll road extension is not put into place that would is threatening the San Onofre State Beach.
The Save Trestles campaign powered by the Surfrider Foundation is looking for support at the Water Quality Control Board Meeting regarding TCA’s permits for the first 5 miles of the toll road. Watch the video to see what pro surfers like Kelly Slater and Jordy Smith think about Trestles, and why it’s important to protect one of the world’s most rippable waves:
The meeting will be held at 1:00pm on Wednesday, June 19th at 9174 Sky Park Court in San Diego.