By Eric Heinz

Citizens’ Oversight Projects, an activist organization based out of San Diego, announced on Jan. 2 that it submitted a petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) related to regulations that govern how the nuclear industry handles spent nuclear fuel.

“The basis for the proposed changes is established by the HELMS proposal (hardened, extended-life, local, monitored, surface storage),” a press release from Citizens’ Oversight stated.

The proposal aims to change the regulations to require 1,000-year assurance that the fuel will be stored safely, according to the release.

Ray Lutz, the executive director of Citizens’ Oversight, stated in the release that the proposal asks for the casks that will be used to store the spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre to be “enclosed in a much thicker outer shell, which can then preserve the internal canister from corrosion and other deterioration.”

SONGS officials are planning to start storing the remaining spent nuclear fuel on-site this month.

The HELMS document and the NRC petition can be found online at

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