Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday warned that the United States could suffer a nuclear disaster like Japan's Fukushima catastrophe if it does not find a solution for its nuclear waste.
The Trump administration believes that solution is a long-delayed plan to store all of the country's nuclear waste at a facility located deep inside Nevada's Yucca Mountain.
The White House has asked Congress for $120 million to restart the licensing process for the nuclear waste facility, which is meant to be a permanent home for atomic waste that is currently stored at nuclear facilities around the U.S.
In testimony to Congress, Perry raised concerns about the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, where Southern California Edison has for years stored spent nuclear fuel rods in cooling ponds, a common practice across the country.
The decommissioned station is located just yards from the Pacific Ocean and near one of America's busiest highways, in an area prone to earthquakes.
"Having those spent fuel rods in those cooling ponds in a region of the world that's inside that 'Ring of Fire,' as they call it — and the potential to have a geologic event — we could have a repeat of what happened at Fukushima to some degree," Perry told members of the House Committee on Appropriations.