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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2017
Concerned Citizens to take stand for nuclear waste safety
Saturday, November 18, 2017 in Laguna Beach, 1:00pm
A gathering of intentional citizens will commence non-denominational prayer and focused meditation on Saturday November 18th, 1:00pm at the main beach in Laguna Beach. The participants, who are committed to peaceful conscious activism through unity and solidarity, will raise awareness and gather signatures for an alternative solution to the imminent nuclear waste crisis threatening Southern California’s Coast. Watch the video here.
Most California residents are not aware that SCE (Southern California Edison) has obtained a California Coastal Commission permit to bury 75 canisters of deadly nuclear waste on the beach in December of 2017. The 3.6 million pounds of high-level nuclear waste will be buried 108 feet from the high tide on the beach at San Onofre State Beach Park.
Each of the thin-walled canisters is about 20 feet high and 5 feet wide and can weigh up to 125,000 pounds. The plutonium inside the cans is lethal to human life for 250,000 years. The uranium waste is deadly to human life for up to a million years. More troubling, the storage cans are only guaranteed to last 10 to 25 years by the manufacturer (get warranty here).
The new beachfront nuclear waste dump is located in a tsunami zone, on top of an earthquake fault line, and inches above the Pacific Ocean’s corrosive salt water table.
Court Settlement to “move the nuclear waste” has failed.
Participants are objecting in part to an out-of-court settlement between the privately-operated non-profit Citizens Oversight, and Southern California Edison, the owner of the deadly waste. The secretly-negotiated deal, which was widely touted as “settlement that will move the waste,” has resulted in an accelerated burial schedule that affirms SCE’s questionable legal right to dispose of the waste on the beach. In exchange for settling the case, the attorneys for Citizens Oversight received an $800,000.00 check from SCE.
Prior to the questionable “settlement to move the waste” Edison had planned to bury the waste on the beach in 2018. “Yet shortly after the settlement was announced, SCE accelerated its burial schedule from 2018 to December of 2017,” says Charles Langley, executive director of Public Watchdogs. “Once the waste is buried on the beach it will stay there forever,” says Langley, who wants the waste stored at a safer location in more durable thick-walled containers away from the beach. In addition, Public Watchdogs disputes the legitimacy of the California Coastal Commission’s vote, which the group alleges is an unlawful violation of the Coastal Commission’s Mission Statement.
Why the settlement “to move the waste” is a failure
It does not guarantee removal of the waste at any time in the near future. Instead, the settlement relies on Edison’s dubious “commitment” to seek out alternative locations some time before the year 2035.
It is unlikely the waste will be moved by the year 2035, if ever, given the complex legal and regulatory requirements involved for moving the waste through populated areas, and obtaining the consent of state and local governments.
The settlement affirms the Coastal Commission Permit, which allows Edison to bury the waste on the beach for at least twenty years.
A leaked Edison presentation reveals that the corporation has no way of inspecting its nuclear waste canisters for damages that could result in deadly radioactive leaks and mass evacuations.
There is no approved alternative location.
A specific alternative location has not been identified, which was the premise and implied promise of the original negotiations. Nothing has changed. Under the terms of the settlement, Edison is required to look at two possible alternative locations.
There is no schedule for moving the waste.
Edison has made a series of unenforceable ‘commitments’ with numerous provisions that will allow them to keep the waste on the beach eternally. Specifically, none of the barriers to removing the waste legally have been solved.
Edison may not honor its dubious ‘commitments.’
Edison is under no meaningful obligation to remove the waste. Specifically, if an offsite storage facility is not ‘commercially reasonable’ (i.e. too expensive), Edison is off the hook if local laws prevents relocation.
It relies on the false hope of an approved nuclear waste dump.
The likelihood of an NRC-licensed DOE Offsite Storage Facility being approved and built in the next 20-years is near zero.
Coastal Commission’s failure to fulfill its mission statement.
The California Coastal Commission’s mission statement promises to protect California’s coastal resources for “future generations” with “strong public participation,” but when it voted to issue its nuclear waste burial permit on October 6, 2015, the public was not adequately informed.
Improper notice When the Coastal Commission voted in favor of the beachfront nuclear waste dump, it only gave a one-week notice of the public hearing on Edison’s application. Then they held the vote in Long Beach instead of locally, in San Diego or Orange County where the public could attend.
Secret lobbying by Southern California Edison: The Commissioners admitted on video tape that they had been secretly lobbied by Edison in advance in “ex parte” meetings where the public was not allowed to participate.
The Coastal Commission vote was unlawful. Edison sent out a press release announcing the California Coastal Commission’s unanimous vote one-hour before the Commission even voted for it publicly. This means the vote was taken secretly in advance, in violation of the law. Members of the public were still testifying when Edison sent out the press release announcing (i.e. predicting) the “unanimous” vote!
Did Edison deceive the Coastal Commissioners?
False Claims: SCE claimed falsely, without public rebuttal or debate that the dump is “safe.” The Commission accepted these claims without conducting legitimate public hearings, or a proper public investigation.
Circumvention: The Coastal Commission accepted claims without seeking the opinions of qualified experts opposed to the plan.
Improper Notice: Finally, the public was not provided adequate notification or time to properly rebut Edison or to explain why the burial of 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste, 108 feet from the beach and in substandard steel cans three feet above the water level in a tsunami and earthquake zone is a bad idea.
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