The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.
Decommissioning San Onofre on the Cheap Puts Us All at Risk
Edison’s Community Engagement Panel met last Thursday in Oceanside to update the public on plans to decommission the nuclear power plant at San Onofre. If it were not for the fact that Edison has already proven itself to be more concerned with profit than public safety, the average citizen would have been reassured that there was nothing to be concerned about.
Unfortunately, Edison has a history that must be remembered. It was 2010 when San Clemente Green was contacted by concerned nuclear operators who were afraid of retaliation from management for making safety concerns known. This was only one of the many factors earning them the worst safety record in the nation, with far more violations than the next worst, (chart provided by SanOnofreSafety.org)
We were warned in advance about the faulty replacement steam generators that resulted in leaking radiation into the environment in 2012. Edison knowingly put us all at risk, ignoring their own expert’s warnings. Their risky decision resulted in a very expensive premature shutdown. Perhaps most revealing of their true character was their vigorous proposal to restart one of these defective reactors and run it at 70% for five months to see what happened. That could have caused a catastrophic uncontrolled release of radiation directly into the environment for fifty miles or more. That same experimental recklessness continues today.
Steven Patrick Dunn, who is currently a SVP at City National Bank and was previously the Chief of Global Research at CBRE recently stated that, all residential real estate from Newport Beach to La Jolla could lose 90 to 100% of value, and in an instant, billions in mortgage loans become worthless, if there was any significant amount of radiation leaking from San Onofre.
Edison has already been fined $16 million for improper dealings in this matter and lawsuits are still pending. Aguirre said, “Normally when you rob a bank you have to give the money back – you don’t just get fined,” he said. “This is an absurdity. This is more of a manipulation. This is public relations.” “This is a big win for Edison,” said John Geesman, an attorney representing the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility. “You pay a $16 million fine, you get your wrist slapped, you pocket a couple billion dollars. That’s a phenomenal return on investment.” The fine is not the largest for the company. In 2008, Edison was fined $30 million for falsifying records to boost manager incentive payments.
Now they find themselves between a rock and a wet place, the Pacific Ocean. With nowhere to take radioactive waste, which amounts to 89 times more than was released in the Chernobyl accident, Edison has come up with another risky and experimental solution. Their current plan is to bury the waste in the sandstone bluffs, 100 feet from the waves and only inches above the water table, using containers that were only designed for temporary storage. Rather than spend more money on cast iron canisters that are 20 inches thick, like those used in Europe, they have selected half inch thick stainless steel containers known to have cracking issues in as few as 17 years. Some of these containers have already been in service for ten years.
Even with Edison’s overly optimistic projections for when the waste will actually be moved off site, they could leave us with leaking canisters that cannot be transported, even to a temporary storage site. We all agree that getting this deadly waste out of here ASAP is the top priority, but demanding better storage containers will buy us the precious time we need to safely store the waste here much longer, which is very likely. Not doing so allows Edison to put our property values and health at risk once again. The complacent Nuclear Regulatory Commission has already approved this storage plan for up to 300 years if that is how long it takes the Department of Energy to transfer it to a temporary or permanent storage site.
Please share this information with others who need to know about this slow motion crisis. Have them write email@example.com. to be added to the list of concerned citizens. They can find well documented support for our claims at SanOnofreSafety.org.
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