Dry canister storage of spent fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Courtesy Southern California Edison

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that includes language by Rep. Mike Levin to create a spent nuclear fuel research and development program at the Department of Energy.

The spent nuclear fuel that remains at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating in Levin’s district is seen as a long-term problem by the congressman and many of his constituents.

“The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act will make long-overdue investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining affordable energy options, and I am proud that the bill includes several pieces of legislation I introduced,” said Levin after the vote. “With my bill to foster innovation in nuclear waste storage and disposal, we can get the waste at San Onofre off our beach sooner and more safely.”

The act also includes language by Levin to improve wildfire smoke emissions modeling and develop better smoke forecasts as the number and severity of wildfires increases in California.

Several provisions by Levin for clean energy production were also part of the legislation, including a goal to produce 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2025.

The legislation was approved 220 to 185, with most Democrats in favor and Republicans largely against, and now goes to the Senate.

Levin represents the 49th district, which stretches from the UC San Diego campus north along the coast to south Orange County.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.