Nuclear Waste in California: A Timeline

California's Nuclear Waste Legacy

California's history of nuclear waste and the political battle on how and where it should be stored.

The Atomic Energy Act of 1954

President Eisenhower signs The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 giving the civilian nuclear power program more access to nuclear technology

Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant

PG&E constructs the first commercial nuclear plant in California. The unit generates 65 megawatts.

PG&E completes Humboldt Bay’s dry cask storage

160 metric tons of spent fuel at Humboldt Bay Nuclear Reactor’s is transferred to the dry cask storage site.

Rancho Seco Nuclear Reactor goes online

Sacramento Municipal Utility District brings the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant online. The plant generates 900 Megawatts of power

SMUD completes Rancho Seco’s dry cask storage

202 metric tons of spent fuel at Rancho Seco were placed in dry storage at the onsite Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI)

“...The Yucca Mountain Project Must Go Forward”

Yucca Mountain Development Act

President Bush and Congress approve of Yucca Mountain as a viable repository site for high-level nuclear waste and spent fuel. The DOE spent $8.5 billion in its study of Yucca Mountain, including transportation and defense logistics.

San Onofre Nuclear Reactor, Unit One, goes online

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, located on the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, starts producing energy commercially from a single reactor. Southern California Edison jointly owns this reactor with San Diego Gas & Electric. This unit produces 436 megawatts

Nuclear Regulatory Commission is created

The Energy Reogranization Act of 1974 splinters tasks from the Atomic Energy Commission and establishes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the primary federal agency regulating commercial nuclear power plants

Nuclear Waste Policy Act

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send questions or feedback to the below email addresses.

Before contacting us, you may wish to visit our FAQs page which has lots of useful info on Tiki-Toki.

We can be contacted by email at:

You can also follow us on twitter at

If you are having any problems with Tiki-Toki, please contact us as at:


Edit this timeline

Enter your name and the secret word given to you by the timeline's owner.

3-40 true Name must be at least three characters
3-40 true You need a secret word to edit this timeline

Checking details

Please check details and try again