Activism to Prevent a Disaster?


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San Onofre Power Generating Station

“SONGS: Watch for Grand Re-Opening?”

We spend most of our time on how to survive a disaster, particularly an earthquake, since that’s the risk that’s highest on our Southern California list. However, there are other risks that emerge from time to time, and an active Emergency Response Team can make a difference by taking what can be considered political action.

Here is an example from this week from right here in my back yard!

San Onofre Nuclear Reactor was shut down in January.

Along with about 8 million other people, I happen to live within 50 miles of the San Onofre Nuclear Reactor, managed by Southern California Edison. Located on the California coast about midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, the plant has been closed since January. The reason? Leaks of radioactive steam from tubes within the generator – tubes that have been replaced within the past couple of years but are mysteriously degrading! No reason for the damage has yet been advanced.

Pressure is on to re-open the plant.

Since the costs of keeping the plant closed now exceed $300 million, Edison is eager to reopen it. In fact, a hearing to re-open the plant — at reduced power levels — is scheduled to take place later this week.

As a concerned citizen, I realize that San Onofre presents two real dangers.

  1.  First, if San Onofre is reopened with the same damaged tubes in place, radioactive leaks are bound to continue. “Safe to operate at reduced power?!” Give me a break!
  2. Second, San Onofre is located in a major earthquake zone. If it is hit by a power outage as a result of an earthquake, its weakened state plus a compromised cooling capacity could result in another Fukushima – with no realistic option for evacuation.

November 30, 2012 Meeting.

The Nuclear Regulatory Agency and Edison are holding a public meeting on November 30. It will be webcast live, and people can phone in to listen to the proceedings.

Action Item: find out more by attending the meeting virtually. Then follow up by submitting your questions or comments. For more information, head to http://video.nrc.gov (The meeting is labeled SONGS, referring to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.)

 

 

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