A ferocious split has erupted within the ranks of those who oppose a “nuclear waste dump” at San Onofre, and the debate is likely to to spill over at Thursday night’s quarterly meeting of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel in Oceanside.
The panel – a volunteer group advising Southern California Edison on the tear-down of the shuttered nuclear power plant – has become a lightning rod for anger over the federal government’s decades-long quest to create a safe, permanent home for deadly nuclear waste. Its meetings can be fiery.
On Thursday, the panel is slated to discuss, again, the dry cask storage system that’s under construction to hold 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste until a better solution is found. Until recently, critics were mostly united in demanding that Edison move the waste off the bluff just yards from the ocean immediately.
That changed last week, when Citizens Oversight, a San Diego County-based nonprofit, settled its lawsuit against Edison over what the group described as a “beachfront nuclear waste dump.” In the deal, Edison agreed to pay Citizens Oversight’s attorneys $800,000; promised to spend up to $4 million to hire experts to explore options for moving the waste, including to the Palo Verde plant where Edison is part-owner; and to report regularly on progress, which the group touted as a major win.
But some other activists were incensed, accusing the…