The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why The Capistrano Dispatch is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

By Shawn Raymundo

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $982.8 billion spending package last month that includes millions in funding to establish a program to temporarily store nuclear waste from the nation’s power plants, including the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS).

The four-bill appropriations package, which passed in a 226-203 vote on June 19, provides several federal agencies funding for Fiscal 2020, beginning Oct. 1. The Department of Energy will have a budget of $37.1 billion, with $25 million allocated for the creation of the consolidated interim storage program.

Rep. Mike Levin, who represents California’s 49th District comprising the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano, lobbied for the $25 million that, if enacted, would pay for the initiation of the program, site preparation and the coordination of transporting the spent fuel.

Currently, the U.S. doesn’t have a permanent repository to store nuclear waste, as power plants have been responsible for the storage of their own spent fuel. Proposals to construct temporary storage sites in New Mexico and Texas are currently going through the application process, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Of the Energy Department’s appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year, $1.3 billion will be dedicated toward nuclear energy, including the storage program, as well as for the research and development of “next generation of clean and safe reactors,” according to the House Appropriations Committee.

DOE’s fiscal 2020 funds would also go to “further improve the safety and economic viability of our current reactor fleet and contribute to the nation’s long-term leadership in the global nuclear power industry,” the committee stated in a breakdown of the appropriations bill.

The appropriations package is currently awaiting action in the Senate.


SR_1Shawn Raymundo
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow The Dispatch @CapoDispatch.

Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (0)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>