Letter to the Editor

Dry cask storage is safer

AtascaderoMay 24, 2013 

I strongly endorse your May 19 editorial, “Looking back: Diablo’s moves on fuel disappoint.” I want to stress that I am not “anti-nuclear,” but I believe the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and all nuclear reactor operators must take more aggressive action to reduce the likelihood of accidents. An essential step is to reduce to a minimum the amount of waste in cooling pools by transferring it to sealed dry casks.

This is one of the most urgent recommendations of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has long advocated for nuclear power safety.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is working with a bipartisan group of senators on legislation emphasizing long-term solutions for storage of radioactive waste from reactors.

But past history suggests that long-term nuclear waste storage sites will likely not be available for decades, so this waste will continue to be stored at Diablo Canyon for the foreseeable future.

Especially given the unresolved assessment of seismic risks at Diablo Canyon, I urge Sen. Feinstein to protect Californians’ health and safety by incorporating language requiring reactor owners to thin out spent fuel in the pools by transferring a large percentage of it to safer and more secure dry casks.

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