Radioactive Waste

Holtec cask

High level radioactive waste is stored at Diablo Canyon in pools and in dry casks.  Mothers for Peace is currently in litigation regarding the dry cask storage facility and the potential impact of terrorism on the surrounding environment. (Also see 'security and terrorism.')


Date: May 2, 2018 May Ma Office of Administration Mail Stop: TWFN–7– A60M U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, DC 20555–0001 RE: Docket No. 72–1051; Holtec International’s HI–STORE CIS Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel, Lea County, New Mexico NRC: We respectfully submit these scoping comments on the Holtec Environmental Report (ER) to transport up to 100,000 metric tons of spent fuel, high-level radioactive waste, from nuclear reactors around the country to southeast New Mexico. San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) does not consent to the irradiated nuclear fuel that has been produced by the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors being sent to another community. This would entail the movement of 10,000 canisters of highly radioactive waste through thousands of communities. Furthermore, the site would likely become a national radioactive waste dumping ground. SLOMFP asserts that it is morally repugnant to send this deadly waste on our rails and highways to a poor community of color. Diablo’s waste must continue to be stored on-site until a permanent repository can be found.

2018 - 04 - 04 Federal Agencies Blocked in Bid to Re-Start Plan for Nuclear Waste Storage at Yucca Mountain

Trump Administration Officials at the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently put in a bid to shock the dead Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project back to life. The process for federal licensing of Yucca Mountain was effectively terminated more than five years ago. Last week the House of Representatives offered more than $170 Million towards the re-start of Yucca, but the Senate declined. The final appropriations bill governing federal spending for the rest of 2018 contains no funds for high level radioactive waste. See recent news report from The Exchange Monitor at


Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s two nuclear reactors are scheduled to shut down in 2024 and 2025. As of April 2018, Diablo Canyon’s two “spent” fuel pools held 1,800 irradiated nuclear fuel rods, and the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) held 49 casks, each of which contains a maximum of 32 rods, for a total of more than 3,300 highly irradiated fuel rods stored on site.

2018 - 04 - 18 Position on Consolidated Interim Storage

Over 75,000 metric tons of radioactive wastes have piled up at nuclear power plants across the United States. After more than 75 years of making this lethal waste, there are still no viable solutions to the problem of how to protect the environment from the dangers it will pose for a million years. If implemented, Consolidated (or Centralized) “Interim” Storage (CIS) facilities would be sites to which irradiated high-level nuclear waste would be moved and stored temporarily. Then, at some point, it would be shipped to a currently non-existent permanent repository. These facilities would provide temporary storage of commercial irradiated waste, mostly in dry storage casks, from all over the country. Currently there are two proposed facilities, one in Texas and the other in New Mexico.

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace Mission Statement and Strategies

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace is a non-profit organization concerned with the dangers posed by Diablo Canyon and other nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, and radioactive waste. Additionally, the organization works to promote peace, environmental and social justice, and renewable energy.


Since February of 2014 members of SLO Mothers for Peace have periodically taken samples of ocean water from just south of the Pismo Pier and sent those samples to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) to be tested for radioactive content. Ten of these samples have been taken so far with the last sample showing a dramatic increase in Cesium 137 (Cs137) from the previous sample taken in July 2017.

2018 - 03 - 14 Mothers for Peace to attend national Summit on radioactive waste

Two members of the local non-profit, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, will join with representatives of dozens of environmental organizations in Chicago, IL March 16 – 18, 2018 to explore options for both short-term and long-term storage of radioactive wastes. These lethal by-products of energy production and weapons have been accumulating at nuclear plants, uranium mines and mills, and nuclear weapons complexes for decades.

2018 - 01 - 11 Diablo Canyon closure approved by the CPUC

In August of 2016 Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) , along with six labor and environmental groups, filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a joint proposal to shut down the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant by 2025. The parties to the joint proposal were PG&E, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, the Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California and the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility. The CPUC made its Final Decision on the conditions of plant closure on January 11, 2018.

2018 - 01 - 03 Mothers for Peace comments to NRC on thin-walled canisters for waste storage

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace urges the NRC to order Diablo Canyon and all nuclear plants in the United States to use safer, thick-walled canisters for the storage of high level radioactive wastes. Currently the NRC allows canisters with walls only 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch in thickness, whereas in Germany and Japan the casks are between 6 and 9 inches thick.

2018 - 01- 01 RADIOACTIVE WASTE 101

This document describes high level radioactive waste in general, the way such waste is currently stored at Diablo Canyon, and national policy on long-term storage and "disposal" of radioactive wastes. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is planning to shut down Diablo in the near future, but the radioactive wastes will remain on site for the foreseeable future - decades or possibly centuries to come.

2017 - 10 - 10

DIABLO CANYON’S RADIOACTIVE WASTE: current and future challenges of storage and transportation An educational series to be presented by San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, with expert speakers from San Onofre, Nevada, and Washington, D.C.

2017 - 09 - 22 CPUC should order more storage for Diablo Canyon nuclear waste

The California Public Utilities Commission has a great opportunity in its oversight of Diablo Canyon’s closure. PG&E must store 2,000 tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste on a fault-ridden coastline. Currently, the waste in the dry cask storage is sealed in half-inch thick stainless steel canisters inside concrete overpacking affixed to huge concrete slabs, easily visible from the air and sea.

2017 - 09-14 Mothers for Peace asks CPUC for Diablo Shut Down in 2019/2020

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) applauds PG&E for its decision to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. However, our organization asserts that it would be in the best interests of the ratepayers and the citizens of California if the shut-down date were moved forward to 2019/2020, rather than the 2024/2025 dates proposed by PG&E.