A Lawsuit to Protect Our Coast
To Protect Our Coast, the Samuel Lawrence Foundation is taking the California Coastal Commission to court. The powerful state agency should not have approved Southern California Edison’s application to deconstruct the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. We are asking the court to overturn that approval. A trial is expected in June.
Why Are We Suing?
We need facilities at San Onofre to handle the 3.6 million pounds of deadly radioactive waste that will remain on site for decades after the plant is razed. Today, the spent nuclear fuel is stored in steel canisters 100 feet from the ocean. Edison’s decommissioning program provides no plan for repairing or replacing a damaged canister. Coastal commissioners should have required one.
Too much is at stake — our precious coastline, our economy, and the health of 8.6 million people living within 50 miles of the plant.
December 16, 2020
April 19, 2021
May 17, 2021
May 28, 2021
June 1, 2021
National Coverage of SLF’s Lawsuit on MSNBC
On June 3, 2021, SLF’s lawsuit for the improved management of the radioactive waste at San Onofre was featured by Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s The Last Word (watch here). Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA) joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the environmental and human impact that radioactive waste has on the millions of people who lear near San Onofre.
How You Can Help
- Stay up to speed. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media. Share our posts to #protectourcoast
- Contact members of the California Coastal Commission. Use our click-to-send email to tell them why the issues in our lawsuit are important to you. (Click to take action)
- Sign up to speak during the public comment portion of monthly California Coastal Commission meetings. Need some coaching? Contact us and we will get you primed. (Sign up for a speaker request)
Lawsuits are expensive. We greatly appreciate any gift of any size to our legal fund. Together, we can Protect Our Coast and hold regulators and a profit-driven utility accountable.
Potential Impact of the Lawsuit
Million Homes Saved
Thousand Camp Pendleton Residents Protected
World Class Surf Sites Preserved
What a Win Would Mean
We believe California Coastal Commission’s approval of Southern California Edison’s decommissioning application merits legal challenge. The risk presented by 3.6 million pounds of deadly radioactive waste that will be left behind with no facilities to handle it is too great to ignore.
A legal victory would set a precedent for all U.S. nuclear plants in decommissioning. The Coastal Commission would be forced to withdraw the Coastal Development Permit that allows Edison to destroy the spent fuel pools, which for now are the only working facility to handle the waste stranded at San Onofre. Edison would be required to reapply for permits. After scrutiny from the courts, Commission staff would be much more thorough in its examination of the evidence and Commissioners would be more circumspect in their review. The evidence for saving the spent fuel pools is overwhelming. The Commission must retain a handling facility for emergencies to protect our coast.
If we lose the case, we still will have scored a victory in the court of public opinion. Thousands of people will be engaged on the issues of radioactive waste and the need for a safe facility to repair and replace storage canisters. The utility, state commissions and elected officials will be placed on notice that this issue is of concern to constituents, our ecosystems, and economy. The case has prompted conversations with leaders at all levels of government. We believe it can serve as a blueprint for future action on the issue.
“Sierra Club officially supports the legal actions of Samuel Lawrence Foundation with the California Coastal Commission.
We are fully supportive of legal actions to promote greater safety in the storage on nuclear waste canisters at San Onofre, building a hot cell or nuclear dry storage facility at San Onofre, maintaining the cooling pools until a waste transfer facility has been built, and improved state of the art monitoring nuclear waste at the San Onofre storage site.”
“The San Diego Energy District supports the legal actions of the Samuel Lawrence Foundation with the California Coastal Commission.
As an organization dedicated to safe energy, SDED supports the legal action to ensure greater accountability and safe handling of nuclear waste at San Onofre. The risk presented by 3.6 million pounds of deadly radioactive waste is too great to ignore and we believe that the people who will be most impacted by the potential risk of nuclear waste should have significant input in its safe handling.”
“CODEPINK officially supports the legal actions of Samuel Lawrence Foundation with the California Coastal Commission.
As an organization dedicated to peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons, we are fully supportive of legal action to ensure greater accountability and safe handling of nuclear waste at San Onofre. The risk presented by 3.6 million pounds of deadly radioactive waste is too great to ignore and we believe that the people who will be most impacted by the potential risk of nuclear waste should have significant input in its safe handling.”
“Southern California Edison’s history of cutting corners on nuclear safety led to the failure of new steam generators and the permanent shutdown of the San Onofre reactors. Edison now seems to be repeating that pattern by planning to dismantle the spent fuel pools, needed in case of potential problems with dry casks storing the irradiated fuel nearby. Edison should construct a ‘hot cell’ or keep the fuel pools to be able to repackage fuel in case a problem arises with a dry cask, as long as there is nuclear fuel at the site.”
“As a member of San Diego’s Climate Mobilization , I support the lawsuit described in this email, which states the absolute necessity to be certain the pools are maintained to surround the nuclear waste canisters to prevent nuclear radioactive contamination that could occur from any possible leakage. Any nuclear contamination is not only a threat to human health for those in proximity, nearby soil in farms, but for the health of life in the Pacific Ocean.”
– Linda L. Lawrence
“Keeping High-Level Nuclear Waste in spent fuel pools was, of course, dangerous. So, too, is removing pools and the ability to respond to degraded nuclear fuel rods requiring repackaging. We all know that the High-Level Nuclear Waste is not going away.”
“PortsmouthPiketon Residents for Environmental Safety and Security (PRESS) officially supports the legal actions of Samuel Lawrence Foundation with the California Coastal Commission.
We are fully supportive of legal actions to promote greater safety in the storage on nuclear waste canisters at San Onofre. This includes building a hot cell or nuclear dry storage facility at San Onofre, maintaining the spent fuel pools until a nuclear waste transfer facility has been built, and implementing state of the art monitoring nuclear waste at the San Onofre storage site.”
“It is in the interest of public health and safety that Judge Beckloff rule in favor of supporting the lawsuit brought forward by the Samuel Lawrence Foundation. The California Coastal Commission has not done due diligence to allow Southern California Edison to begin dismantling the nuclear waste at San Onofre. The judge must allow the necessary time for our leading, nuclear engineers to monitor this process and be held accountable to only the highest and safest storage standards to avoid any accidents which might pose unnecessary risk to the public or environment.”
We need your help!
We must protect our coastline from environmental catastrophe and we need your help. Here’s how:
- We expect our case to go to trial in June. Please stay in touch as we file legal briefs and make other moves. We will keep you up to speed on our website, newsletter and social media sites.
- Be ready to show the court that you support our lawsuit. We will issue an online letter for your signature shortly.
- Make a donation. Lawsuits are expensive. Your donation will help us cover the legal costs we face.
We’ve raised $118,218 for the lawsuit.
Help us reach our goal of $50,000 by September 30th.
Together, we can protect our coastline and hold our regulators and a profit-driven utility accountable.
Thank you for your support. Please contact us with any questions.