Gary Headrick, San Clemente
San Clemente Green has recently initiated a petition intended to influence the community engagement panel brought together by Southern California Edison regarding the decommissioning process going on at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. We are anxious to see how they respond.
At the first panel meeting held on March 25, there was some interest expressed in holding a follow-up workshop on the topic of storing nuclear waste. Our intent is to make sure that happens as soon as possible and that the workshop has at least three independent nuclear experts to offer their opinions and insights into areas of concern that the industry may not want the public to hear about.
New information about the temporary dry cask storage containers—see www.sanonofresafety.org–which Edison is currently allowed to use, is already showing that the fuel rods become damaged by prolonged exposure to heat and radiation. If a permanent storage solution is not available in just a few years, it may become too unsafe to retrieve the waste at San Onofre for reloading or even for transportation.
By default, we could end up living with 89 times more radiation than was released in the Chernobyl accident, in containers that are likely to become more and more unstable with the passing of time.
The message is simple: If they want to start earning back the public’s trust, get independent nuclear experts involved in the discussion and add another layer of protection by “canning” the nuclear waste as it goes into dry cask storage—this is how they handle fuel that is known to be damaged before storing it.
Let’s get all the facts and deal with the long-term dangers proactively. Doing what is best for the general public must guide the decisions Edison is making now. Edison says, “Working together with the community and stakeholders, we believe that all of the various interests can be balanced for the good of all.” They can prove they mean it by listening to more than 1,200 people who have already signed the petition to hold this special workshop. If they don’t, they’ll give a skeptical public even more cause for concern.
Please sign our petition (www.credomobilize.com/p/can-it), share it with others and plan to attend the workshop that will give everyone a more complete and realistic understanding about the nuclear waste issues from a community perspective and not just from the industry’s point of view.