FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

San Onofre is Dead, the Nuclear Waste Isn’t

by ACE HOFFMAN

I think Edison deserves credit for making a wise decision to permanently close the San Onofre nuclear plant.  I support the decision.  It’s good for business, good for California, good for the environment.  It’s the correct engineering decision to make.  San Onofre was irreparably damaged by vibration.

Unfortunately we are now left with one of the largest, most concentrated nuclear waste piles on the planet.  This will be an eternal problem, but thankfully it is no longer a growing  problem and is becoming safer by the day.  It will take millions of years — not just days — to be safe, but at least we are  headed in the right direction.

The employees of San Onofre have been honorable opponents and I hope they all find jobs in the solar and wind technology energy sectors.  However, the investigations should proceed, at the state level, at the federal level, and at the personal level, we should all continue to ask why nuclear power is used anywhere?

Diablo Canyon is next on my personal radar.

Note: The letter shown below, from Pete Dietrich this morning to SanO employees, suggests that the real reason SCE is closing San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station is because of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board’s involvement in the case.  The ASLB would not be looking into the problems at San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station if Friends of the Earth (FOE) hadn’t pushed the issue with carefully-planned legal actions.

FOE deserves enormous credit for their role in this event.  Southern California narrowly avoided its own Fukushima on January 12th, 2012.  Eight tubes in Unit three were worn enough to fail pressure tests, and one tube in Unit two was 90% worn.  Unexpected vibration had done them in.

But with bullheaded determination, SCE tried to restart anyway.  The 70% plan has been lingering around since nearly the beginning of the outage.  Some restart plan, any restart plan.  But first, FOE hired Arnie Gundersen to look into the matter, who is a world-renowned expert in steam generator technology, and then they hired a slew of other experts to confirm his findings.  Independent experts, independent, that is, of SCE, NRC, and FOE also confirmed that SanO’s u-tubes were beyond repair.  But Arnie did the hard discovery work first.  Then he explained it again and again, to activists, reporters, and regulators.

Arnie Gundersen is a hero to science and reason.
===============================================
FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY

To:        SONGS Employees and Supplemental Workers

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you SCE’s decision to permanently retire both Units 2 and 3. I recognize this difficult announcement is something none of us wanted to hear, but our decision is absolutely the right thing to do. The tough reality is that the recent Atomic Safety and Licensing Board decision creates significant additional uncertainty regarding our ability to get to an NRC decision to restart Unit 2 this year. This is not good for our customers, our investors and the region.

I could not be prouder of you, the men and women who have put their hearts and souls into addressing the steam generator and the dual unit outages, all the while working safely every day. Indeed, SONGS has served this region well for more than 40 years and each of you has played a role in it.

I recognize how difficult this news is for everyone at SONGS. Today, we will be conducting a series of All Hands meetings so I can talk face-to-face with you about what this means for us as a station, and for you. Meeting times are listed below, and I would ask that you please attend the session for your division.

I will do my best to answer your questions, but will tell you up front, I do not yet have all the answers. More information will be solidified over the next week, but I believe it is important for us to get together and discuss this news. We will work diligently, as we have before, to get answers to your questions. We will treat everyone with dignity and respect, using a process that is fair, legal and ethical.

This morning, Edison International CEO Ted Craver, and other executives, including Ron Litzinger and myself, are holding an investor briefing to inform the financial community and the media of our decision. Below is the company’s press statement. Indeed, we can all anticipate a robust media cycle to follow.

I want to emphasize some aspects of what today’s decision does not affect. We hold a NRC license that includes many requirements and obligations ­ including our responsibility to protect the health and safety of the public and our employees. As we move forward, we must continue to meet these license requirements as well as all the requirements of our Emergency Plan and Security Plan. I need — and ask for — your continuing support as Nuclear Professionals to ensure we remain as diligent about our responsibilities and obligations as you have demonstrated in the past.

We will have more time to talk in the days ahead, and I look forward to those interactions. But I want to say again how proud I am to be a part of this team, this station. You are the finest employees I have had the privilege to work with and lead. We have important things to accomplish here at SONGS as we prepare for decommissioning, and I know that we will do it together as true Nuclear Professionals. Keep your head up, stay focused on working safely, and never forget our commitment to excellence.

Be proud, but never satisfied!

Pete

Ace Hoffman lives in Carlsbad, California. He is an educational software developer and bladder cancer survivor, as well as a collector of military and nuclear historical documents and books. He is the author and programmer of the award-winning Animated Periodic Table of the Elements. He can be reached at: rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com

More articles by:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail