Nuclear waste materials reportedly moved from Torrey Pines Mesa

Courtesy: nbcsandiego.com
Courtesy: nbcsandiego.com

The federal government removed nearly 132 pounds of spent nuclear fuel from a facility in San Diego in August and September, it was announced Monday.

The North County Times reported Monday evening that a source confirmed the facility was at General Atomics’ site on Torrey Pines Mesa.

NBCSanDiego.com reported separately that according the NRC website General Atomics — which is headquartered on Torrey Pines Mesa — “has been authorized to decontaminate two reactors in San Diego County. There are no other research reactors in the county listed on the NRC's website.”

General Atomics own website notes that the company “has been a leader in the design, fabrication, testing, licensing, and operation of nuclear material transportation and storage systems over the last 30 years.”

However, a General Atomics spokeswoman would not comment on whether the site on General Atomics Court off of Genessee Avenue near UCSD was the facility involved. Heather Lade said she was looking into the report, but could not say anything else as of 5:30 p.m.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the now-shuttered facility had a research reactor that had supported government research since the late 1950s.

Over the course of three weeks, the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration arranged for three shipments of highly enriched uranium to be transported to a secure federal facility nearly 1,000 miles away from San Diego.

“This is a major accomplishment that exemplifies our commitment to work across the federal government and with the private sector to enhance nuclear security here at home and around the globe,” said Thomas D'Agostino, the DOE's undersecretary for nuclear security.

The nuclear material was removed from a reactor that conducted government-sponsored research, according to the DOE. When the facility was built, it was located in a remote area, according to the DOE. It has since been shut down and is awaiting decommissioning.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

   
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