Updates: October 2018

A Demand for Safe Storage

San Juan Capistrano City Councilwoman Pam Patterson addresses a full house during the Songs for S.O.N.G.S rally Oct. 8 at the Belly Up.

We are demanding safe storage for 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Our government and Southern California Edison must protect our environment and our health, and that means doing the right thing with the most dangerous waste material on the planet. To manage the highly-radioactive material safely, the utility must:

– Stop the loading. Southern California Edison is loading the material into canisters and lowering them into a concrete vault that’s 108 feet from the sea. In August, regulators ordered a halt to the loading operation after an unreported near accident was reported by an OSHA safety inspector during a public meeting. So far, workers have loaded 29 of 73 canisters into the vault. The loading must stop.

– Get safer canisters. The 5/8-inch-thick storage canisters for the spent fuel rods are inadequate and at risk of failure from corrosion. The canisters are welded shut and once they’re in the fault, they can’t be maintained, inspected, monitored or repaired. Modern canisters are in use in Germany and Japan and should be the standard for storage here.

– Move the material to higher ground. A beachfront location that’s vulnerable to tsunamis and sea-level rise is no place to store nuclear waste.  The waste belongs at a nearby location on Camp Pendleton known as the Mesa, where a containment facility could be built to house the material  in containers that can be inspected, monitored, repaired and replaced. 

Stop the loading. Get better containers. Move it to the Mesa. How could the utility and government regulators do anything less to provide for our safety?
On Oct. 8, 500 like-minded people got together at the Belly Up for an evening of song, speeches and protest. The event, “Songs for SONGS,” included activists and artists, scientists and surfers, business leaders, elected officials, Native Americans — and many, many others who care about our environment and public health.

During “Songs for SONGS,” we launched a Web-based campaign encouraging people to sign and send a form letter to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris. The letter asks the lawmakers “to engage Southern California Edison, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Defense Department and appropriate state regulators to move the material off of the beach.”

To open and send the letter, click here.

A livestream of the “Songs for SONGS” reached more than 3,000 people across the planet. To watch the livestream, click here.

Thank you for being part of our success and for joining this growing movement. The protest rallies of the 1960s were fun. So was “Songs for S.O.N.G.S.” Nuclear waste at San Onofre is a serious issue that we are determined to resolve with good science, grass-roots activism and music.


Bart Ziegler, PhD
President, Samuel Lawrence Foundation

Retired Admiral: Government not providing for our safety


In his keynote speech, Rear Admiral Len Hering (ret) blasted regulators for allowing the nuclear waste at San Onofre to be stored on the beach.

“The Constitution of the United States directs that this government provide for our safety,” Hering said, “and they are not!”

Donate Today

The Samuel Lawrence Foundation is lean and nimble and your gift will go a long way in the fight for safer storage of San Onofre’s nuclear waste.

Action is Easy

Hundreds of people have signed and sent this letter to U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. Have you? It takes less than a minute.

Songs for S.O.N.G.S. – Livestream and Photos

To watch a livestream of Songs for S.O.N.G.S., click here.

Songs for S.O.N.G.S. brought outstanding talent to the stage at Belly Up.

The musicians included:
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot; Jupiter and Okwess; Iron Sage Wood featuring Rob Machado; The Shift; Chris Cote; Karlos Paez of B Side Players; Nena Anderson; Latanya Lockett; Robby, Keith and Kyle from Trouble in the Wind.

Speakers included:

Len Hering, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret); Ian Cairns, Former Professional Surfer; Jim Bunch, Chairman, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce; Peter Zahn, Solana Beach City Council; Pam Patterson, San Juan Capistrano City Council; Leona Morgan, Navajo Nation Representative.


Thank you to Samuel Lawrence Foundation board member Chris Hoover for these photographs:

Clockwise from top: Scrojo created the Songs for S.O.N.G.S. artwork; Songs for People [Peter Hirsch (Bass), Brady Alvarez (Banjo and vocals),
Mike Pope (guitar and vocals), Andy Rae (washboard)]; and posters greeted guests; Jon Foreman from Switchfoot; Emcee Chris Cote; Jupiter and OkWess closed the show.

Thank you to our partners: