Activists are turning to prayer to rid San Onofre of buried nuclear waste

While political advocacy and legal intervention have yet to reverse the plan to bury tons of nuclear waste at San Onofre, activists are turning to higher powers, using prayer and meditation in the hopes of meeting their objective.

A coalition of Native Americans and community activists recently began a 30-day virtual meditation and prayer effort. They hope to persuade utility regulators and Southern California Edison executives to rethink their plan to store toxic spent fuel on the San Diego County coast for years to come.

“We are all interconnected, interrelated and interdependent,”said Laura Lafoia Ava-Tesimale of the One Global Family Foundation. “We must come together and unify and take a strong stance to protect Mother Earth.”

Charles Langley, executive director of the Public Watchdogs advocacy group, said he was not a religious person, but “every legal and political solution for this problem has been exhausted. The only solution now is spiritual. We must find creative solutions for breaking this trance.”

Spent nuclear fuel has been stored in cooling pools at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station for years. After Edison closed the plant in 2013, the company sought to move the waste into canisters that will be buried.

The California Public Utilities Commission last year permitted the storage plan, a decision that was challenged in court. The case is pending.

Edison spokeswoman Maureen Brown said the company welcomes all the help it can get in pushing federal authorities to come up with a permanent site for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel.

“Until the federal government provides for an off-site storage facility, as required by law, SCE will continue to safely store the fuel as we have done the past 40 years,” Brown said.

 

jeff.mcdonald@sduniontribune.com

McDonald writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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