Hearing set for lawsuit aimed at stopping dismantlement at San Onofre nuclear plant

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Group says Coastal Commission should not have OK’d permit

By ROB NIKOLEWSKI in the San Diego Union-Tribune

JUNE 4, 2021 12:08 PM PT

A June 16 court date has been set to hear a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group against the California Coastal Commission, seeking to stop dismantlement work at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Defunct San Onofre nuclear power plant

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff will consider the petition by the Samuel Lawrence Foundation that argues the commission should not have granted a permit to Southern California Edison, the majority owner of the plant, to take take down buildings and other infrastructure at the now-shuttered generating station, known as SONGS for short.

“The public interest is at risk, based on (the commission’s) decision,” said Chelsi Sparti, associate director at the Samuel Lawrence Foundation, based in Del Mar. “The waste is located right next to the ocean (and) the economy, transportation, the environmental and natural resources that we have are at risk from the long-term storage of stranded radioactive waste.”

A spokeswoman for the Coastal Commission said it does not comment on pending litigation but in a joint response it filed along with Edison to the court last month, the Coastal Commission said the lawsuit’s arguments “run contrary to a wealth of evidence supporting the Commission’s decision to approve the permit for the decommissioning project.”

In October 2019, the commission in a 9-0 vote approved a permit for Edison to begin demolition work at the plant, which has not produced electricity since 2012. Dismantlement began in early 2020 and is expected to take about eight years to complete.

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