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Local Anti-Nuke Group Slams Restart Plan

San Clemente Green says SoCal Edison's push to fire up one of San Onofre's reactors is reckless.

The following is a press release from San Clemente Green --

San Clemente Green represents over 1,700 citizens who are deeply troubled by the fact that Edison has now submitted their response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL). The clock is now ticking for the NRC to decide if Edison should be allowed to restart one of its seriously flawed reactors.

(Read about Edison's restart plan here)

One of the conditions under which Edison proposes to restart Unit 2 claims to have improved detection devices in order to catch any leaks that might occur more quickly.

That is of little comfort to those living nearby.

It is well documented that this equipment has been self-destructing over the past year or so due to excessive vibration. This caused a level of degradation that would only be expected after operating for twenty years or more.

Tubes that keep radiation from getting into our environment have been weakened, making them vulnerable to bursting and causing a cascading effect that may not be stoppable in time to protect the public.

Donna Gilmore from San Onofre Safety (SOS) says, “Edison’s plan to restart Unit 2 safely is to watch for radiation leaks.  That's not a safety plan.  That's a nuclear experiment in our community.  Restarting San Onofre with the the most defective steam generators in the nation is a recipe for nuclear disaster. We just went nine months without nuclear power and our electricity grid operator has plans to get us through next summer. Why take the risk for energy we don't need?”

What is also of great concern to the public is that the NRC and Edison are claiming that it is not necessary to go through a License Amendment hearing.

This thorough scientific investigation would include truly independent nuclear experts, not just steam generator manufacturers that Edison uses as consultants.

These outside experts would be allowed to review all data available, submit their own conclusions for consideration, and give them a chance to cross examine industry experts in a publicly transparent judicial hearing in which testimony is given under oath. Instead, the public is expected to blindly trust the decision making ability of those who created this situation in the first place.

Gary Headrick, co-founder of San Clemente Green said, “We are anxious to understand the motivation behind avoiding such an investigation by those who are charged with protecting the public’s safety, not the interests of the nuclear industry.

"Are they afraid of having to take some responsibility for whatever might be discovered in this investigation? The legality of the NRC‘s decision to skip this process when it should have been done when the new steam generators were first approved is still in question. But if the decision to restart one of these dangerous reactors is approved without benefit of the License Amendment investigation, that would be criminal, even immoral.”

This matter will be the central focus of the NRC meeting scheduled for Oct. 9, 5:30 p.m. at the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point. The original intent was to have a roundtable discussion between the NRC, Edison and 4 individuals representing citizen’s concerned about public safety.

Instead, the NRC has recently decided to include 8 more nuclear industry advocates, creating a gross imbalance on the panel.

Headrick said, “The NRC has turned this event into a lopsided debate disguised as an attempt to be more open to public scrutiny. After a month of sincere negotiations with the NRC regarding the format of this meeting, they have once again demonstrated their loyalty to the nuclear industry. I am deeply disappointed, but I am all the more determined to use this opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the real dangers that exist at San Onofre.”

John Galt October 04, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Turn it on. Just make sure ALL of the repair employees and All of the upper management is there WITH there FAMILIES. It will become the safest plant in the world.
Alberto Barrera October 04, 2012 at 09:01 PM
So, what do they advocate instead of the nuclear plant? No technology so far can produce the amount of power that the plant does per square foot.
Ed Sorrels October 04, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Sure it lacked objectvity just as a lot of the green's arguements are. I am not as smart as some of these folks tell you they are but I fail to see where they are the last word on the subject or should be allowed to be. With the new sunrise line in, Which they objected to also we seem to have gotten thru the summer with blackouts or brownouts so just maybe we don't need unit two but this area isstill growing and where do we get power for those people but their arguements aginst both to me are pretty dumb and contradictory., I think Solar electric and tankl;ess water heaters should be mandatory for all new building's both homes and businesses, My gas and electric for the first year I have been on both was under $200.00, and for blackouts I have a genset now, We need tro do these thing's and do them now. They will make a huge dent in our balance of trade and get us out from under the hand of the middle east despot's. Just my opinion !
Paco Loco October 05, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Yeah, Green ... After all when you include the extra manufacturing for a Prius, it gets worse gas milage than a Hummer for the first 100,000 miles. That is the solution to all of our problems! And what about Green Energy wind power which costs several times more than conventional energy? And what about all the trucks and people supporting this inefficient equipment? How much does that pollute compared to a much more effective conventional or nuclear plant per Kw?
steve hopper October 05, 2012 at 04:32 PM
All the talk about green energy vs nuclear will be a sadly moot point if there is a serious malfunction or natural disaster like happened in Japan. How about rendering this entire area, for miles around, uninhabitable for the next 100 years. Also, green energy, like anything else, will become cheaper the more it is used, so at some point, you have to commit to the change and the future.
Jay Berman October 05, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Fire it up .... no one has ever died due to nuclear energy ... but just about every other source of electricity has fatalities ... If they don't come back online and the pressure to take older plants offline and shut down the coal plants we import power from .. we WILL face curtailments ... you can't remove 4400Mw of 7/24 generation offline and think you can easily replace it with solar cells and windmills .. Need to force Mitsubishi to replace the generators ...
MV Dadster October 05, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I'm sorry, but you are mistaken. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power disaster in 1986 resulted in at least 31 deaths and long term effects of the exposure are conservatively estimated at 4000 deaths. The Union of Concerned Scientists also estimates an additional 25,000 premature cancer deaths will ultimately result. There remains a 19 mile exclusion zone of unusable land around Chernobyl because high levels of radioactivity make it unsafe for habitation. The area will not be safe for human life again for 20,000 years. A similar exclusion zone around San Onofre would include San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, etc. While you are correct that other forms of power generation have resulted in death, they have not rendered the land around them unlivable for 20,000 years.
Jay Berman October 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM
You realize you are comparing a soviet built, uncontained, graphite reactor being operated by untrained operators to a modern contained reactor operated by highly trained personnel with many, many safety mechanisms ... we have nothing that comes close to what Chernoyl was or how it was operated ... maybe I should have clarified my statement .. Chernobyl was an accident waiting to happen .. ----- All the Chernobyl reactors were of a design that the Russians call the RBMK--natural uranium-fueled, water-cooled, graphite-moderated--a design that American physicist and Nobel laureate Hans Bethe has called "fundamentally faulty, having a built-in instability." Because of the instability, an RBMK reactor that loses its coolant can under certain circumstances increase in reactivity and run progressively faster and hotter rather than shut itself down. Nor were the Chernobyl reactors protected by containment structures like those required for U.S. reactors, though they were shielded with heavy concrete covers.
MV Dadster October 05, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Hi Jay, I was simply responding to your comment that "no one has ever died due to nuclear energy." While it is true that Chernobyl was of more primitive design than San Onofre, it still demonstrates the massive consequences of a large release of radioactivity. The odds of a disaster at San Onofre are probably smaller, but given the population density around the plant, the consequences could be far worse. Maybe we should look at the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi, a power plant that more closely resembles the design, age and siting of San Onofre. In addition to the deaths at the plant, a Stanford University study estimates the radiation released could cause 130 deaths from cancer (the lower bound for the estimator being 15 and the upper bound 1100) and 180 cancer cases (the lower bound being 24 and the upper bound 1800). With all that went wrong at Fukushima Daiichi, the Japanese managed to dodge a far worse disaster. They were lucky. So far, we have been lucky, too, but that certainly doesn't mean we should be complacent.
Common Sense October 05, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Nuclear power may very well be the answer to most our energy problems. However, maintaining a nuclear power plant in the middle of the most valuable and heavily populated coastlline in the world is absolutely unacceptable!
Jay Berman October 06, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Electricity needs to be generated close to where it is used. These plants are safe, they have just about every safety mechanism a plant can have including last resort gravity fed cooling ... These are much better than the ones in Japan, these are on 30' seawalls ... they are safe. To replace the output would require (4) 1100 Mw gas turbine combined cycle plants, where do you thnk we can build those ? With excessive regulation it would take 10 years to do it .. we are now teetering on curtailment, Encina is running at full tilt, the mothballed plant that has been put back in service in Huntingdon Beach loses its pollution credits and will be put out of service soon ... Remember the blackout ? Remember the curtailments back in 2000 ?? I think not ... get unit 2 back to 70% and repair unit 3 or replace those generators ... it is the only solution ..
Jay Berman October 06, 2012 at 12:57 AM
The only thing that Fukushima has in common is they are fission, light water pressure reactors. They did not have containments like San Onofre, they did not have all the safety equipment we have like a fail safe gravity cooling system. They were not built on high seawalls like ours our and we don't have the faults that can release that sort of energy or tsunami like that here .... Those reactors were in buildings, not containments, when the cores started heating up the buildings blew apart with hydrogen explosions ... in our case that would most likely be contained in the containment domes .... San Onofre is safe, it needs to be repaired and brought back online ASAP
MV Dadster October 06, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Jay, It's odd that you reference the electrical power curtailments of the year 2000 as proof that we lack electrical capacity. By now the courts have verified that it was not a lack of capacity, but the manipulation of demand by out of state energy companies like Enron that created a false crisis. In 2000, California had an installed generating capacity of 45GW. At the time of the blackouts, demand was 28GW. A demand supply gap was created by energy companies, mainly Enron, to create an artificial shortage. Energy traders took power plants offline for maintenance in days of peak demand to increase the price. Then, traders were able to sell power at premium prices, sometimes up to a factor of 20 times its normal value. The FERC concluded that it was manipulation by out of state power companies, not a lack of capacity, that created most of the shortages. It's also inaccurate to argue that "power needs to be generated close to where it is used." As a matter of fact, California already imports 29% of its electricity from outside of the state (21% from southwestern states and 8% from the Pacific Northwest). I agree with you that the construction of more gas turbine plants would be a good bridge as we look for other energy options. If Edison and SDG&E were smart, they would be offer the closing of San Onofre as a bargaining chip to get streamlined approval of four 1100 Mw gas turbine plants. We are in complete agreement that supply must keep up with demand.
Jay Berman October 06, 2012 at 05:50 PM
The entire state electric generation and distribution system has been a corrupt wreck since that fiasco, I am well aware that the curtailments were financially created and we are still paying for it. You cannot trade something you can't hold in your hand or store, you cannot store AC electricity so there can be no free market in it, it must be regulated. Electricity is used closest to where it is generated ... SDG+E may buy electricity from a generator in Utah, but if you live here on the coadt, its coming from Encina ... SDG+E agrees to buy an amount of electricity, the generator in Utah puts it on the grid at the specific time and they invoice SDG+E ... its just a way to jack up the price so more people make money. I'm all for profit and making money but not like this.
Jay Berman October 06, 2012 at 05:50 PM
The system must be fully re regulated, the local utility should own its generation capacity and produce all that is needed for their service area. They should make a profit based on their costs .. If the ratepayer owns facilities, the local utility should be a co op owned by the ratepayer. With all the propaganda concerning "global warming" and the implemetation of AB32 it will be cost prohibitive to build and operate gas fired plants in the state, we need to get SONGS back online and perhaps build a new, modern unit 4 ... the population will continue to grow, solar and wind is a fantasy that will eventually go away - once people realize how much that electricity is, 2 to 3 times more then you have transmission ... on top of that all other forms of electric generation except for hydro and nuclear will go thriogh the roof due to AB32 ... don't be suprised to see your electric bill double or more ... its going to kill businesses that use energy ... welcome to the new socialist democracy of Kalifornia ....

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