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Nuke Regulators to Hand Down New Rules for San Onofre Soon

Officials at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station say it’s too early to know what new rules the NRC will apply to the plant as a result of its Japan Task Force. Some residents continue to fight for the plant's shutdown as media question safety.

U.S. nuclear regulations don’t address what to do if San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station lost all power for as long as Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant did.

Though plant and government officials uniformly say that risk is minimal, it was one of the findings from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s preliminary look at the disaster at the Fukushima plant.

Caused by the March earthquake and tsunami, the disaster sparked a public .

Southern California Edison officials at San Onofre say it’s too early to say what plant administrators will have to do in response to the recommendations from the NRC’s Japan Task Force, but agency officials said in hearings last week they would put together a specific plan within three months.

SOME PRELIMINARY LESSONS LEARNED

The Fukushima plant experienced extended “station blackout” when the 45-foot tsunami (27 feet higher than the plant was built to withstand) inundated the diesel generators that were supposed to keep instruments running.

“The operators were faced with a catastrophic, unprecedented emergency situation,” the initial report states. “They had to work in nearly total darkness with very limited instrumentation and control systems.”

(A complete copy of the Japan Task Force's 90-day review accompanies this article in PDF form. In it is a full timeline of the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.)

One of the NRC Japan Task Force’s main findings was that “station blackout is not a design-basis event,” meaning the engineers and architects of nuke plants in the U.S. weren’t required to envision a scenario in which the station could lose all power for an extended period.

Charles Miller, the head of the Japan Task Force, also reported to the NRC that, though “a similar sequence of events is unlikely to occur,” and “continued licensing and operations activities don’t pose a threat,” the current regulatory framework is a “patchwork” that needs an overhaul.

The recommendations from the committee include better preparations for extended station blackouts, a number of technical improvements to safety systems and continuing updates and retrofits according to the latest information about external hazards.

Southern California Edison is now

These Japan Task Force recommendations come as various media outlets such as the Associated Press and Pro Publica are questioning the efficacy of the NRC and the safety of U.S. nuke plants in general.

On Thursday, Pro Publica published an article quoting NRC whistleblowers who, in reports, “cited lapses by a parade of NRC inspectors … and systemic weaknesses.”

Furthermore, a scientist from anti-nuke group Friends of the Earth has heavily criticized the initial recommendations from the Japan Task Force. Friends of the Earth has connected with San Clemente Green and other local groups fighting for a San Onofre shutdown.

San Clemente Green founder Gary Headrick —experts who may challenge the assessments of NRC and SoCal Edison officials at the public informational meeting scheduled for that date.

NUKE PLANT OFFICIALS TRY TO REASSURE PUBLIC

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station officials .

Plant spokesman Gil Alexander said the first line of defense is simply sucking power from the existing grid. The plant is powered through power lines like any other business, and the power system.

If, as in Japan, the grid were severed, diesel generators would kick in—in San Onofre’s case, unlike at Fukushima, the generators are sealed in concrete bunkers, offering some protection against a possible tsunami.

“Each of the reactor systems has two diesel generators, either one of which can power all of the safety systems,” Alexander said. “The backup generators have backup generators.”

To back up those power supplies is an array of batteries “that are ready to go in the case of the unimaginable … we’re way into the hypothetical here,” he said.

Alexander said that even in the case of a prolonged disconnection from the power grid, the San Onofre plant could run indefinitely off diesel generators as long as fuel could be trucked in; there’s enough on site to run the safety systems for seven days.

In addition, a tsunami wall, the top of which is 30 feet above sea level, protects the plant, Alexander said.

Despite reassurances by plant officials, it’s likely the plant administrators and technicians will have to adapt to new regulations and protocol in the coming months.

“It’s too early to tell yet in the NRC review process exactly what recommendations will be adopted and how they will be applied at San Onofre,” Alexander said.

epiphany July 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Honestly, WHY does anyone think they're Christian & are going to Heaven when they die IF THEY LIE & LIE UNTIL THE DAY THEY DIE ABOUT AN OIL SHORTAGE (THAT MEANS THEY DIE IN THEIR SINS BECAUSE THEY NEVER CAME "CLEAN" & TOLD TRUTH & REPENTED ABOUT LYING TO EVERYONE FOR ALL THE DISHONEST GAIN THEY COULD MAKE OFF THEIR BOGUS "ENERGY SHORTAGE" LIES)! THE BLOOD OF JESUS WON'T COVER THE ONES THAT DIED IN THEIR SINS! LIARS LIKE THAT WILL ALL HAVE THEIR PARTS IN HELL! GOD CONTROLS EARTHQUAKES & WE'VE TOO MANY NUKE REACTORS ON FAULT LINES & I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW GULLIBLE/ IGNORANTS/UNEDUCATED THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL IS & HOW DIABOLICALLY DISHONEST EVERYONE IN POLITICS IS 4THE LOVE OF$$$-THEY DON'T FEAR GOD OR THINK LYING OR COVETING PEOPLE'S LAST HARD-EARNED DOLLAR IS WRONG! WHEN YOU SPEND ALL YOUR LIFE MAKING YOUR $$$ DISHONESTLY, DON'T EXPECT TO GO TO HEAVEN! THE US SURE NEEDS TO GET INDIA 2SIGN A TREATY W/US PROMISING NOT 2GROW HEMP (GOD'S ANS 2WORLD HUNGER)-GREAT P.R, George!(Matt 7:20-God'sWill-NOT1SHOULD STARVE2DEATH
epiphany July 31, 2011 at 01:17 AM
Last comment: you don't HAVE to believe in supernatural or prophecy but...latest prophetic word from Holy Spirit is: 9/2007: "There's going an earthquake closer to the White House than they wish it were to teach the people in Washington that don't nelieve in Supernatural to RESPECT THE WORD OF THE LORD!" 1/10/10: "God is going to wait & see what Pres Obama's going to do 1st!" March 2011: "God's a little tired of watching over 'Sodom & Gomorrah' & TOO MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE BEING LIED TO 4THEIR MONEY!"(BOGUS ENERGY SHORTAGE!) "The earthquake will be in the form of a tsunami!" June 2011:"If America doesn't want to repent, they can kiss the East Coast goodbye!" Spring 2011:"God can't respect the gays anymore than He did when He wrote the Book of Leviticus by the hand of Moses!"(See Lev. Ch 20 IF ANYONE WANTS2KNOW HOW STRONGLY GOD FEELS ABOUT IT)Henry Ford's energy inventions R only reason THC-free hemp's ILLEGAL-If pecan trees could do all that, they'd be criminalized!HONEST POLITICIANS R OUR ONLY REALSHORTAGE
epiphany July 31, 2011 at 04:42 PM
PPS- Jan. 2007: "GOD'S NOT HAPPY! HE MADE THE OIL TREE & THEY'D BETTER BE GLAD HE DID, OR HE'S BREAKING OUT THE MELANOMA!" In 2009, ONE DEATH PER HOUR ALL SUMMER LONG OCCURRED FROM MELANOMA--this is how the world finally ends--Bible says in last chapters of Old Testament "THE SUN WILL BURN 7 TIMES BRIGHTER AND THE MOON WILL BECOME AS BRIGHT AS THE SUN IN ONE DAY." Does America REALLY trust in God & try to keep his Laws & Statutes? WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD STEWARDS OF THE EARTH, ARE WE? "IT'S THE WILL OF GOD THAT THIS TREE (HEMP) SHOULD BE GROWN ALL OVER THE EARTH SO THAT NOT ONE SHALL PERISH FROM HUNGER." Again, see Numbers 11:7-8 Manna was ground hemp seed that was made into meal & cooked in pans & tasted Very Oily! "If the people don't want to do the will of God, they're NOT going to Heaven!" Matt. 7:20-even preachers are turned away @the gates of Heaven by JC! If they don't have God's love in them, they don't CARE to do His will!
epiphany July 31, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Last comment: you don't HAVE to believe in supernatural or prophecy but...latest prophetic word from Holy Spirit is: 9/2007: "There's going an earthquake closer to the White House than they wish it were to teach the people in Washington that don't nelieve in Supernatural to RESPECT THE WORD OF THE LORD!" 1/10/10: "God is going to wait & see what Pres Obama's going to do Qst!"
epiphany July 31, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Sorry for typo above "1st"(sp)--Also-"7/31/11: "they can kiss Stonehinge goodbye too if the world doesn't wake up!"(God's plan to save Earth w/a Tree/Atlantic Tsunami coming) Fukushima was 1st warning sign of Global Holocaust!" "The people who don't want to accept God's One & only sacrifice (JC WAS His son-apparently there are "Sons of God" in Genesis Ch 6 that watched from Heaven the fair maidens on Earth & came down & made wives of whomsoever they wished...Read it for yourself!) are'nt Pleasing God!" He desires Mercy-Not More Sacrifice! HE WANTS ALL PEOPLE OF ALL NATIONS TO KNOW & UNDERSTAND & HAVE LIFE IN ABUNDANCE, & "THIS IS THE ONLY ANSWER HE SAYS HE'S GOING TO GIVE US" & SAYS "HE DOESN'T HAVE TO LIVE ON EARTH, BUT EVERYTHING HE CREATED DOES HAVE TO!" HE SAYS "THERE'S ONLY ONE TRUTH FOR ALL PEOPLES OF ALL NATIONS!"(THAT IS THE GOSPEL!) ONLY WHEN ALL COUNTRIES HAVE ALL GOT ENOUGH LIFE IN ABUNDANCE&ALL HAVE FULL STOMACHS WHEN THEY SLEEP@NIGHT W/GOD'S PLAN, ONLY THEN WILL WE HAVE WORLD PEACE! Ps.Ch149

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