A press conference is scheduled for 5:00 pm and we would love to have you join us if possible. Edison will share their decommission plans with the public and seek our input, (8:00 pm for public comments). A link to the live internet feed will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Although we all agree that we want the waste removed yesterday if not sooner, there are some complicated issues that call on us to show up and demand that public safety comes before corporate profit. We don't want to create a situation that lets Edison off the hook while the public takes all the risk. Below are our talking points. Please attend to show you are with us on this critical matter. This first meeting is a very significant opportunity to have our concerns expressed.
Message to the CEP from San Clemente Green...
Edison needs to fill their credibility gap with actions - not words.
A long history of putting profit before safety eventually led to the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Trying to cut corners actually cost Edison a lot more in the long run. They are now under congressional investigation to determine if they knowingly put the public at risk by installing new steam generators that were problematic since the initial design phase. Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org reminds us that,"The NRC concluded Edison was at fault in the management of the steam generator design. How can we trust them to manage the waste?" After the radiation leak occurred, Edison pushed hard against public opposition to experimentally restart a defective nuclear reactor without even fixing it first. Now they promise "to complete the safe decommissioning of SONGS as expeditiously and cost efficiently as possible". Are we to believe they are going to act in the public's best interest or does this promise only apply to their shareholders? Their actions will speak much louder than words.
Our first priority: Secure the nuclear waste on site before the next big, inevitable earthquake takes place.
According to the USGS, it is nearly certain that the much anticipated earthquake will exceed design limitations at SONGS and that it will likely take place before nuclear waste can be shipped elsewhere.
Our biggest concern: A decade ago, San Onofre was allowed to use High Burnup Fuel so that costly refueling could occur less frequently.
High burnup fuel is over twice as radioactive and takes much longer to cool in the spent fuel pools. There is no approved method to safely store high burnup fuel in dry casks for more than 20 years. In less than 10 years some of those dry casks will have reached their approved safe lifespan. If the fuel has deteriorated to the point of becoming too dangerous to transport then it may have to remain on site indefinitely in that unstable condition. For that reason alone, we are requesting the Community Engagement Panel to schedule their first workshop to include independent nuclear experts who can recommend best practices in addressing the unknowns about high burnup fuel.
Our list of recommendations:
- Establish better ways to safely store and transport nuclear waste, especially high burnup fuel, to an acceptable remote location as soon as one is available.
- Improve instrumentation capabilities to monitor spent fuel pools and dry cask storage.
- Add one more layer of protection to dry cask storage by "canning" spent fuel assemblies in individual sub-containers, handling all waste as if it will become damaged by excessive heat and radiation over time.
- Reduce the number of spent fuel assemblies from 24 units per cask instead of seeking to increase it to 32 units for the sole purpose of saving money.
- Transfer adequately cooled fuel assemblies to dry cask storage immediately to free up overcrowded conditions in spent fuel pools, making them more secure.
- Reinforce structures that protect all forms of waste and develop unmanned systems to respond to any radiological emergency.
- Provide on-site capabilities to handle a leaking cask should there be a breach in containment.
- Make public announcements before the release of tons of pollutants into the ocean which is currently allowed as part of the decontamination process.
- Invest in emergency preparedness capabilities for our communities that can endure weeks of isolation, not just a few days.
The overarching message from our community to Edison is:
When in doubt, use the precautionary principle.
Always error on the side of public safety over profit.
*Go to SanOnofreSafety.org for other
carefully referenced technical resources.