The news is out that the nuclear waste from the Southern California Edison power station has received a one way ticket to the San Onofred shore, home to WSL world tour spot Trestles and surfing spots Uppers, Lowers, Churchers and Four Doors.
The plant was shut down in 2013 and the nuclear waste has been stored temporarily on site since. Now the highly radioactive fuel (a reportedly 3.6 millions pounds of nuclear waste which is a massive 7 times more than what was released at Chernobyl) is due to be moved into new canisters and buried just 100 feet out in the ocean.
For years surfers have come to these beaches to spend quality time with friends and family and surf these world class waves. Not only are there concerns that this new toxic neighbour will discourage the thriving surf community from visiting their favourite breaks, but also that the chosen spot is on an active fault line, prone to earthquakes making for a potentially catastrophic nuclear waste situation. Not to mention the issues caused by any leaks from the canisters.
Along with protests up and down the coast, fighting against this possible Fukushima type disaster is San Onofre Surf Co, headed by local photographer Andrea Coleman. The group are currently raising funds through the sale of a ‘Just San No to Nukes’ t-shirt, designed by Orange County artist Sam Bernal. One hundred percent off all profits made will go towards buying a front page advert in The LA Times, OC Register and The San Diego Union Tribune, bringing the story to the attention of the millions of voters and the lives that this will affect. Acting now so that future generations won’t be left with a toxic environment, San Onofre Surf Co are urging the local community and the global surf community to come together to fight this and encourage Souther California Edison to rethink their storage plans.
The highly radioactive fuel is due to be moved into a steel-and-concrete bunker by 2019. So if you want to support the cause, get your t-shirt or donate and share information to help spread the word.