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OPINION: Anti-Nuclear Protest Set for Sunday at San Onofre

The weekend protest will host supporters and members of eight different anti-nuclear groups.

Residents Organizing for a Safe Environment (ROSE)
Gene Stone / genston@sbcglobal.net / 949-233-7724

Peace Resource Center of San Diego
Carol Jahnkow / carolj@igc.org / 760-390-0775

San Clemente Green 949-412-3366

 Rally at San Onofre Commemorates Chernobyl, TMI, continuing meltdown at Fukushima on Sunday, April 29th from Noon to 3pm

“Shut Down San Onofre” Momentum builds following Radioactivity Release and Design-Error Shutdown of the Plant

Nuclear Industry Expert Daniel Hirsch to be joined by Irvine City Councilmember Larry Agran as Keynotes


April 20, 2012 (SAN ONOFRE) – Nuclear Industry Expert Daniel Hirsch and Irvine City Councilmember Larry Agran will join a dozen other speakers at the “Shut Down San Onofre” rally at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) on Sunday, April 29, to support the view that the reactor should never be restarted. The event occurs just after the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the 33-year anniversary of the Three-Mile Island accident, and the first Fukushima Daiichi meltdown anniversary -- an accident which is far from over.

Irvine Councilmember Larry Agran, who joined other community members in a private meeting with NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko on April 6, 2012, spoke eloquently at the meeting citing critical safety concerns. A major disaster at the plant would put 8.4 million residents at risk and create a no-mans-land out of Southern California. Agran introduced a resolution requesting permanent shutdown of the plant to the Irvine City Council, and it was approved unanimously. Other cities are following suit, such as Solana Beach, which approved a similar resolution. 

Despite the earthquake, tsunami, and terrorist risks, the undoing of the San Onofre plant may be due to engineering or manufacturing errors. After spending $671 million to replace the steam generators, operators thought the plant would operate without failure for decades. The original steam generators lasted over 25 years, and the replacement generators were carefully designed to reduce failure mechanisms, or so they thought.  Instead, an unexpected radioactive steam release in January forced management to reveal that both steam generators were exhibiting unexpected thinning in hundreds of heat transfer tubes. NRC Chairman Jaczko is keeping the plant shut down until the root cause of the problem is determined, and corrective measures to be take so the plant can be operated safely. 

"The plant has served its useful life and combined with other risks, is not worth fixing," Ray Lutz said, an engineer and now National Coordinator, Citizens' Oversight Projects. "At this point, it will be extremely hard to argue that minor corrections to the failing steam generators will make the plant safe. They were brand new, and obviously insufficiently tested to reveal that the numerous design changes made them far worse then the originals. That may mean a full replacement of these huge components is required and thus probably more than another half billion dollars wasted on this plant if they attempt to fix it."

“At some point, the San Onofre plant must be decommissioned. We believe that time is now,” said Gene Stone, of Residents Organized for a Safe Environment in San Clemente. “While the plant is shut down for maintenance, we believe this is the right time to start the decommissioning process for the safety of the workers at the plant and the community at large. We must do the right thing now and not put the California economy at risk. Let's not spend one dime more on any more retrofits."

In additional to elected officials and nuclear industry experts, Libbe HaLEVY will relate her experience of evacuating from the Three-Mile Island accident, and Suzanne Smith will tell her story about losing her mother to cancer just five years after the Chernobyl disaster, near where she lived. Other speakers include:   Ace Hoffman, Torgen Johnson, Ray Lutz, Gene Stone, Gary Headrick, and many others. 

Entertainment will be provided by: 

  • Liquid Blue, considered the most traveled band, has performed in more than 100 countries on seven continents, their LP "Supernova" was awarded Pop Album of the Year in 2009 at the Los Angeles Music Awards, and they are considered "America's Best Dance Band." (see http://www.liquid-blue.com)
  • Charlie Imes, a San Diego Music Award nominee in 2009 for Best Americana or Country Album, "On An Island" (see http://crimesofmusic.com)


EVENT DETAILS:
Date/Time:     Sunday, April 29, 2012. Gather at 12 noon. March starts at 12:15. Rally 1pm to 3pm. 
Location:         Rally: 1:00 p.m. about 1/8 mile south of the SONGS facility
                         Directions: I-5 to Basilone Rd exit, ~2 miles south.
                         March: 12:30 p.m. starting at gate of San Onofre State Beach (~1/8 mile) along access road
Parking:           Available at San Onofre State Beach, $15 day use fee. Shuttle vans will be available to help         
                         those who have parked get to the rally site.
Buses:              Seats on buses from Balboa Park (Park Ave at Presidents Way) or from Oceanside Transit         
                         Center are $10 each ($11.54 for tickets purchased with credit cards online.)
                         Reserve at http://ShutDownSanOnofre.org or call 619-501-1031 for questions.
Speakers:         Nuclear Industry Experts; Elected Officials; Activists; Hollywood Celebrities; Scientists
                         and Engineers; Persons with personal stories from TMI and Chernobyl
Entertainment: Charlie Imes and Liquid Blue
Details:            See http://ShutDownSanOnofre.org

Endorsed by:

  • Peace Resource Center of San Diego
  • Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE)
  • San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice (SDCPJ)
  • San Onofre Safety (SOS)
  • San Clemente Green
  • Occupy Escondido
  • Citizens Oversight Projects (COPS)
  • Friends of the Earth

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