SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) — An extended shutdown at the San Onofre nuclear power generating plant has prompted calls from one Orange County lawmaker to replace the aging reactor with newer technology.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been out of commission since January due to safety concerns surrounding its two reactors.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) declared the plant safe after touring the facility on Thursday, but said the closure highlights the fact that the plant just south of San Clemente is outdated.
“I am calling today for a moratorium on any more light-water reactors because we are now capable of building reactors on newer concepts in nuclear energy that are safer, won’t leave any type of waste, and won’t leave any plutonoium behind that can be used to build bombs,” said Rohrabacher.
The Republican lawmaker — who is also a senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology — advocated replacing plants like San Onofre with high-tech reactors that can use spent fuel to generate electricity.
The U.S. Navy last month approved a first-ever agreement to limit its electricity use across all San-Diego area bases in the event of a power shortage this summer while San Onofre remains offline.
Rohrabacher said it’s time to utilize existing nuclear technology in order to meet increasing demand while at the same time protecting the community.
“We do not need to build any more of these, not because of how unsafe it is right now, but because we can be safer and more efficient,” he said.