PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO email@example.com TO BE ADDED TO THIS LIST.
PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO firstname.lastname@example.org TO BE ADDED TO THIS LIST. THEY ARE ALL BEING FORWARDED TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR SAFETY.
SENDING OUT AN S.O.S. ? SAN ONOFRE SAFETY
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) has been in the news quite a bit lately due to equipment failures, accidents, whistle-blower claims, false alarm sirens going off in the night and a leaked memo highlighting some serious safety concerns discovered by The Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The citizens of San Clemente have become frustrated by the fact that it is very difficult to narrow down just exactly who is responsible for stepping in on our behalf to prevent the re-start of Unit 2 until these serious safety issues have been adequately addressed. Therefore, this email has been sent to numerous individuals and groups who we believe are at least to some extent responsible for our safety. We anticipate getting a written response from each of them about this urgent matter.
If you are in receipt of this letter, please send an email to email@example.com with your comments ASAP. Once you have replied we will post your statement in the blank where you are listed on our website. This is also where you will find whistle-blower testimony, a copy of the leaked memo and other background information. Below are the public statements we have received so far. We?ll continue to add to this collection of concerns and keep you updated as more input becomes available.
This is our S.O.S to you. We are counting on you to investigate and take action on our behalf.
Gary Headrick (and 817 other SCG members)
The South Orange County chapter of Surfrider supports San Clemente Green’s call for a Town Hall Meeting to address concerns about safety issues at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Doug Reece, Vice-Chairman of Surfrider / San Clemente
I believe it is way beyond time to publish and circulate a new
project EIR for the San Ononfre Power Station. Much time and many
modifications to the origional power station has occurred making it a
necessity to describe the status of the original facilities, the new
additions and those facilities to be constructed and what other
changes/improvements that may be anticipated in the future. This EIR
should present the project as a new facility, with all the appropriate
CEQA sections and circulating the document to all the affected
governmental departments, Federal, State, regional and the general
public for review and comment. How else can our decision makers and an
informed public begin to understand the magnitude of this ever changing
project. This power station project is no longer the project that was
first described to the public. It has not just been revised, it is
practically a new project. The life time of the power station has been
extended, there is no solution for removal and permanent storage of its
hazardous waste and there is a real need to balance this type of energy
production with alternative, sustainable sources that could minimize or
eliminate nuclear energy. Furthermore, what happens about the final and
complete decommission of the plant and the restoration of the site back
to park land. This should be explained.
To those of us that have
followed the changes to this power plant, we see this as piece meal
which has incrementally extended the life of the plant. This is not
just replacement in kind, these changes are significant and should
trigger the requirement to publish and circulate a new EIR”.
Bob Joseph, San Clemente
I live right next to the SONGS siren that malfunctioned in San Clemente several weeks ago at 4:30 am. I knew nobody in their right mind would test the system at such an hour and as the siren droned on for nearly 40 minutes, my wife and I were faced with the disturbing dilemma as we considered scooping up our 1 year old and 4 year old boys out of bed and packing them into the car to head north. We almost did! Boy that was confusing since there was nothing on the television, radio, nor internet acknowledging what was going on but the siren continued to sound off.
Having worked as a professional civil engineer in the ExxonMobil Torrance refinery, I am familiar with the grave safety concerns of our aging energy infrastructure. Maintaining these systems is a vital task and filled with numerous hazards, most of which can be mitigated with proper planning and HazOps. I was shocked to learn that SCE would even consider installing fuel rods without full testing of Unit 2. I certainly do not know the protocol or regulatory requirements involved in recommisioning a nuclear generator, but it seems like a responsible decision of the utility would be to test the system before installing the nuclear rods. The decision must not be based on corporate profit considering the ramifications if a flawless installation is not executed. I support the most rigorous testing possible before Unit 2 goes live, considering it will be in operation beyond its originally planned life span.
Timothy E Nelligan, PE C68666, President – Go Natural Gas
The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility has been focused on seismic issues at Diablo. Yet, while most of our attention has been on Diablo, we have not failed to notice the NRC’s black eye in refusing to acknowledge that things at SONGS could be going better. We are flying to DC to meet with Chairman Jaczko on March 4th and will be in DC the following week. Thank you for taking time to read of issues we would like to address.
In Peace, Rochelle Becker
We must get this launch right!
The appropriate analogy here is to NASA’s launch of the Columbia Space Shuttle which overrode valid identified safety issues that should been resolved before the launch was ever cleared. To the uninitiated, these safety issues may have sounded relatively minor, but as the catalyst to the chain of events that unfolded, they were in fact catastrophic and completely avoidable. Let us not make the same mistake with the launch of a nuclear reactor, there are far more lives and property at stake. We live in San Clemente and were awakened by the false alarm, we turned on the radio and TV to hear any announcement. We called the Sheriff’s non-emergency number and the officer stated that they had no information why the siren was sounding. We went to the internet to SCE’s website for San Onofre to look for news, we even called the power plant only to reach voice mail. We called the Sheriff’s number again and our call was forwarded to 911 due to the volume of incoming calls, but the answer was the same, that they had no information as to why the siren was sounding. Why didn’t we hear any announcement over the PA system that was working so loud and clear during the last test? This was our wake-up call. We have lived quietly by San Onofre for years and have now become quite justifiably concerned. We seek transparent and proper assurance that shortcuts are not being taken at the sacrifice of our safety.
Patricia and Tom Hampton
Anyone who reads the accounts of misfiring warning sirens, leaks from SONGS staff regarding welding shortcuts at the plant, and reactions of citizens to news of safety concerns at San Onofre is aware that some kind of problem exists relative to the startup of Unit 2. Evidently, an investigation of the complaints is the least that can be done to ensure that all safety issues are being addressed in advance of the advent of an actual crisis. I am requesting that a formal investigation of all stages and steps required to initiate startup at the plant be undertaken, as well as a thorough review of the community warning system?s recent malfunctions.
Sincerely, Rick J. Delanty, San Clemente, CA 92673
We are home and business owners in San Clemente, and more importantly, citizens trying to ensure our community?s safety. SONGS, our nearest neighbor to the south, is proposing to start up Gen 2 despite numerous reasonable safety concerns raised both by internal sources and by the NRC?s records of safety violations. Our City Council seems to have no say over the operations of this facility even though we are directly affected by any accidents that may occur. We are told that these matters are best left to the experts and that our questions have been adequately addressed. It has been demonstrated that industry, under pressure to keep profit up will put safety second. Witness the testimony of Toyota to Congress. We are asking for HFT (hot functional testing), protection for whistleblowers, and public access to results of safety inspections performed at the plant. It is not enough to allow the company or the NRC to tell us all is well. We need to be our own advocates. Our city officials are so meticulous about small things yet seem to be asleep about what could be the biggest threat to anyone?s safety in the area. This is an older facility and merits careful thorough inspection, not haste. This is not a question of whether or not nuclear power is a good idea; it is a question of due diligence and safety for all of us. Until these safety issues are resolved we respectfully demand that Unit 2 not be reactivated.
Thank you, Patti & Richard Herdell, San Clemente, CA
I just want it said that that I support the delay and ask that SCE respect our wishes for a safe power plant. There’s nothing wrong with being overly precautious and preparing for the unexpected. Good business respects the possible reality of disaster and takes all steps to protect those that work for them and those that require the need they fill.
Jessica Barr -San Clemente
During the latest discussions at the City of San Clemente?s City Council Meetings, it appears that The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is striving to monitor and regulate the obvious and open employer/employee Climate of Dissatisfaction at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station; and this has been verbally expressed by NRC representative, employees, former employees and some on the upper management team as well at recent city council meetings, broadcasted to the public via cable network, and now being reported by major networks.
It is disheartening and in fact frightening to read the high percentage and level of this dissatisfaction, as provided in the ?leaked? survey conducted by the NRC and studied by the city leaders and the public as well. I fear that with that level of dissatisfaction and ?onsite allegations factoring 10 x the industry median? SONGS operating SAFETY procedures are in jeopardy; because low employee morale affects industry safety and efficiency; and especially when dealing with nuclear energy, the lives of hundreds of thousands of community residents and eco-systems in the region. Crucial SAFETY decision-making must be constantly carried out through a human resource protocol that maintains the highest of employee/employer standards. It has cost millions/ billions of dollars in ecosystem degradation and also to rebuild the offshore kelp reefs and restore wetlands to mitigate SONGS negative consequences; but ?we the people? won?t be afforded that opportunity.Our city leaders acknowledge the problem, but while our safety is within their jurisdiction; your employee/employer policies and plant safety procedures are not. Plus, the city does not want to induce public panic; so they are working with emergency responders who have shared detailed plans for our safety. However, common sense and freeway gridlock really dissolve resident evacuation plans; and especially public and private school evacuations, that will depend upon ?incoming? busses to evacuate children (in time); that is wishful thinking.
Disaster prevention through the most stringent of SONGS safety procedures (especially doing ?Hot Functional Testing? to run the system at full speed before loading the nuclear fuel); as has been explained to us at city hall, carried out by an SCE workforce team working compatibly together to assure SAFETY is our best HOPE!
Of course the best long-term future for our children and grandchildren is PUBLIC WILL to demand through their votes and subsequent federal appropriations, the swift transition toward SAFE and SUSTAINABLE energy alternatives. The people are ready and so are our global energy competitors.
Thank you and with hope,
Grace van Thillo -San Clemente
I wanted you to let you know that I too heard the nuclear siren go off in the middle of the night. Believe me, when I woke up and realized that it wasn’t a nightmare but a real nuclear alert (the sound is unmistakeable), my heart raced as I rushed to turn on the television and frantically search the news channels. When I couldn’t find information there I turned on the radio, and when that failed I phoned 911. The operator knew of no nuclear alert, but said officers would come to the Pacific Shores neighborhood to check out the noise which seemed to be coming from the large canyon west of our home. Although I dialed 911, I hesitated to do so for fear of tying up the phone lines for use by emergency responders. After several minutes the alarm stopped, but unlike one of the earlier speakers tonight, I was unable to go back to sleep. This was partly because my husband was out of town, so it was just my daughter and me. To this day I don’t know if San Onofre was advised of the siren malfunction that night.
Last year I reported to the City that I heard one of the test sirens go off (a short loud blaring sound that is used during scheduled testing days). The problem was that it wasn’t an advertised testing day. This time I checked the City’s website for information about a San Onofre test and seeing nothing called the City. Again, I’m unsure if this false alarm was reported to San Onofre.
I like the idea of holding a community safety forum in San Clemente for several reasons. One is to advise people of what to do in the case of a false alarm and a real emergency. Yes, we all receive the annual fact sheet about nuclear safety, but a public workshop will allow people to ask questions, get answers, and dispel myths. For example, parents of school children want to know what will happen to their kids if an emergency happens during the school day. Some people are afraid that bus drivers concerned for their own families and themselves won’t come to San Clemente to bus children to safer locations. Other parents don’t want their kids to leave on a bus, but want to pick them up from school. What about high school students who can drive? Do they know what to do?
I’ve heard that in a nuclear emergency all lanes on the freeway will exit to the north to evacuate people quickly. Is this true? Also, will SC citizens be able to leave town via the TRW gate leading to Cristianitos Road through the Rancho Mission Viejo? A forum would also be helpful to explain what to do in a tsunami, an earthquake, a wildfire or a severe winter storm causing power outages.
Finally, I’m surprised and concerned about the conflicting testimony tonight from power plant employees – some who feel free to raise safety issues, but others who don’t believe the current management is receptive. Apparently, some employees have shared distressing information with Gary Headrick, leader of San Clemente Green. I honestly don’t believe that this is a responsibility Gary expected to take on when he sought to help San Clemente become a more sustainable community.
We’re proud of our local firefighters and police. We should feel just as confident that our power plant employees can keep us safe from a nuclear accident and that God forbid, residents would know what to do if the unthinkable happened. Hopefully the individuals who contacted Gary about serious irregularities will speak with NRC representatives. If their concerns warrant postponing the Unit 2 start up, then so be it. The City should encourage this type of communication and create a plan for relaying information from citizens about false alarms, vandalism, suspicious activities and even anonymous employee concerns to authorities at San Onofre/NRC. I also believe the time is right for San Clemente to host a public safety forum. Pat Bates reported that her district sponsored such an event in Mission Viejo last year and it was very successful in informing people how to handle emergencies. Ours should focus on nuclear. Maybe her office could be of assistance to us.
Patricia Holloway, San Clemente
Section 127 of the Bioterroism Act, requires state and local governments to distribute potassium iodide tablets. Since the tablets last distributed have expired, new tablets should be distributed by the government prior to Unit 2 going on-line. In addition to the safetly concerns, I would think State and local governments would be concerned about liability issues, if something were to happen and they didn’t take reasonable measures to resolve this issue prior to Unit 2 going on-line. And if Edison agreed to delay Unit 2 until this happens, it would show their good will and concern for our local community’s safety.Here is the NRC link to the information. I’ve also included the relevant information from that link below. (See portion in red). http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/protect-public/potassium…
Distribution of KI Within 20-Mile Radius of Nuclear Power Plants Section 127 of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act exit icon) requires State and local governments through the national KI stockpile to distribute KI tablets to population within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant. The Bioterrorism Act also directed the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study the expanded distribution of potassium iodide and report back to the President on the best distribution methods to accomplish such an expanded distribution. The NAS published this study exit icon in January 2004.
Gilmore – San Clemente, CA 92672
According to the Uniform Building Code, which establishes standards for the construction of safe buildings in the U.S., the San Onofre Nuclear Plant is located in the world’s highest seismic risk zone (zone 4). No other area in the continental U.S. outside According to the Uniform Building Code, which establishes standards for the construction of safe buildings in the U.S., the San Onofre Nuclear Plant is located in the world’s highest seismic risk zone (zone 4). No other area in the continental U.S. outside California’s coastal zone has such earthquake probability rating.
The San Onofre nuclear plant area is riddled with on-land and offshore earthquake faults, many of them discovered after the structural design and construction of the existing reactors. According to many seismologists the probability of a major earthquake in the California coastal zone in the foreseeable future is a near certainty. An added hazard is the possibility of an offshore earthquake creating a tsunami wave of enormous force slamming against and destroying all kinds of structures along the coast.
A very large, deadly radioactive fallout resulting from damage to the nuclear plant is certainly a possibility but large-scale evacuation of the population would be impossible if the damage was caused by an earthquake. In the recent past (twenty years), major earthquakes in the Los Angels and San Francisco areas, have rendered freeways useless by buckling the roadbeds and collapsing upper decks and overpass bridges.
Even if the concrete containment domes at San Onofre withstood a major earthquake, a deadly, widespread release of radiation could be caused by the damage suffered by any number of components of the plant. The near-disaster at the Three Mile Island nuclear station in Pennsylvania in 1979, which caused the evacuation of about 150,000 people, and the disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986, which caused the death of thousands of people from the effects of radiation and made a whole region unsafe for human habitation for tens or perhaps hundreds of years, were both caused by the failure of electrical and cooling systems, or of other components.
The San Onofre nuclear plant should be dismantled because, for the reasons given, it is a disaster waiting to happen. Nuclear power plants and the lethal radioactive waste they generate should be located in some the millions of acres of land controlled by the federal government that are relatively isolated and have small to none earthquake probability risk, not in densely populated urbanized areas that are also at high risk for natural disasters.
R.N., San Clemente
My wife and I are great-grandparents. We are writing on behalf of 16 of our relatives living in San Clemente, Dana Point and two other nearby communities. We are very concerned that all the safety issues at SONGS have not been absolutely resolved. We do not want Edison to start up their generator until we are reassured by appropriate third-party verification.
Eric. D. Scott
The members of Residents Organized for a Safe Environment demand a public meeting to discuss the safety concerns that have been brought up by the people who work at San Onofre Power plant. If the workers have concerns about the quality of work that has been done, then there should be a free and open discussion with the citizens of San Clemente ( televised for a more informed public), workers and management, to address the safety of everyone in the area. The public has a right to know, and unit two should not be brought online until this is done.
Gene Stone, San Clemente
We live in San Juan Capistrano. Naturally we maintain a sense of concern about the presence of the nuclear facility close to our home. We hear that there is a potential danger in starting up Unit 2 with its new generators. We expect you to insure that they not pose any greater risk to the public than at any other time.
Harold and Eva Haight, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Recently, I had breakfast with a delightful young married couple. He is a talented professional surfer from overseas, with a shiny new Green Card, and she is a native San Clementean and licensed esthetician due to deliver their first child in a couple of weeks. They want to start their own business in San Clemente and raise their child here.
As a senior member of my community, I feel a compelling obligation to do all I can to preserve a healthy, safe, and sustainable environment in which this young couple can build their future and raise their child. I also feel a responsibility to promote a lasting legacy of a community in which this couple?s child can thrive, and one day raise his or her own healthy children. I hate the thought of these three young people one day, terror stricken, imprisoned in their car on a gridlocked northbound freeway knowing their life has been changed forever because my generation?citizens as well as officials?wasn?t vigilant in guaranteeing they were as safe as possible from a disaster at our neighboring nuclear plant. Then there is the selfish fear: Though my wife and I have successfully raised our three daughters and are in our high sixties, we nonetheless feel we have a long, healthy life ahead of us, full of happy, well-earned rewards.
But I admit a chill runs down my spine when I envision the very real possibility of awakening one night to disaster sirens, an eerie glow over a nearby ridge, and the realization?reinforced by T.V. emergency bulletins?that we face the probability of life shortened and studded with painful but hopeless cancer therapies.
Southern California Edison, the NRC, and our state and local government agencies are made of people, and your constituency is people. Does it pain you, as it does me, to consider these scenarios? In your heart of hearts, of course it does. Your MORAL (and, I believe, legal) imperative is not to protect the nuclear-power industry at the peril of those who live in the long shadow of SONGS, it is to do ALL YOU CAN to protect ordinary citizens?young and old?from humankind?s most powerful and hazardous technology. A good first step in fulfilling your moral and legal responsibilities is to delay the startup of Unit 2 at SONGS until all safety and quality issues have been thoroughly and publicly vetted and remedied. A necessary second step is to require a RIGOROUS site-specific review of environmental, health, economic, and safety impacts of SONGS?s generating license extention application.
Steve Netherby , San Clemente 92672
It is troubling to learn that the citizenry are having to do the job that gov’t is designed to do…that is protecting the people it serves. I applaud you for taking the time and making the effort to inform the public. The problem becomes critical when business becomes more important than safety and value is placed on profitable management rather than on protection of people and environment. What you are uncovering should be appalling to the average citizen, but I believe that we are bombarded with these issues of safety vs. profit so much so that we are left with frustrated apathy. There are many folks I know who don’t believe the danger exists and that your campaign is a scare tactic. Unfortunately, people are lied to so often by elected officials and others who are furthering an agenda that trust has eroded and there exists a climate of skepticism. Your efforts have given people “something to do”, and that feels like some control over this very crucial matter which has the potential to be so dangerous. I remain concerned, and I appreciate your keeping me informed. I hope that the NRC will take steps to put public safety at the forefront. If all concerned would look at the bigger picture, they would realize that profit will be reaped in addressing the public’s concerns before anything else.
Christine Maclean – San Clemente
I would like to see an information document for residents on what to do and where to turn too , when the alarm goes off, that is the most important item that they can do for us… other than preventing the need to use it.
For anyone who will listen… the consequences of getting it wrong far outway the benefit of starting up quickly. There is doubt regarding the safety of the refurbished generator. Doubt can be as dibilitating as an illness. Do not rush this into opertation. Take time to make absolutley sure everything will operate as it should. Make sure the people nearest to this plant are confident that they are being protected. Nuclear power should be a part of our energy independence. It cannot happen if there is any suspician or doubt as to its safety.
Thank you for your consideration
San Clemente, CA
I have voiced my concerns regarding this issue at the last 2 San Clemente city council meetings. I am very concerned about the issue of Hot Functional testing. We have been told this test will be done, but no one has told us when it will be done. With all of the safety concerns, it does not make sense to allow unit 2 to start up until all issues have been addressed. We want a public hearing! Thanks for listening.
Bill Ballinger – San Clemente
Why is it that we who live in San Clemente have to be potential innocent victims due to the fact of plain negligence on behalf of the new management team at San Onofre. For 26 years, it was managed safely and our safety as San Clemente residence should overrule profitability. God forbid if a disaster happens, let’s not forget that you who are the political decision makers and those who work at SCE and in the related agencies that live in San Clemente this affects you and your families as well.
It is imperative that we that we get back to our old ways when discussing the Unit 2 start up! Why can’t the new management team take a step back and breath for a second to make sure things are done in the safest way possible. For example, the whistle blower testimony on the SC Green website who holds a Nuclear Operators License calls for a “Hot Functional Test.” Which, is a way to test Unit 2 at full speed before loading the nuclear fuel. Is that to much to ask… It is these whistle blowers that make me truly concerned about what is really going on at San Onofre. How many other employees have seen other safety issues neglected and don’t have the courage to speak out because of fear they may loose their jobs.
Something has to be done to protect us from a potential disaster. As ratepayers and as a potential innocent victims we should be able to expect that every step will be taken to protect us and future generations. Let’s keep San Clemente safe, beautiful, and clean like it is known for throughout Orange County and not become another disaster area like The Chernobyl disaster!
Brandon & Stephanie Walker – San Clemente, Ca 92673
I am very concerned about the operation at SONGS. Ideally it will be completely closed no later than 2013, the originally scheduled closing date. Until then I fully support all efforts at having it operate safely.
Jenifer Massey – San Clemente, CA 92672
I am very concerned about safety with regards to the starting of the new SONGS generator. I was so concerned that I made a point of being out of town Feb 18, the last published start up date. Now I am really worried that he next start up date will not be publicized. I don’t want to be around for it, especially if all possible safety precautions are not addressed.
San Clemente, CA 92672
I?ve lived in San Clemente for 15 years and my parents lived here for 30 years. Until the recent false alarm with the siren at San Onofre, I thought the facility was safe. I have since reviewed information and reports by the local League of Women Voters and San Clemente Green and have determined that my confidence was misplaced. First, I do NOT know what to do in case of an accident; given out population and limited roads, getting on the freeway and driving north seems like a ridiculous suggestion. I have never been given iodine pills and there are conflicting reports on their effectiveness. Second, information leaked from San Onofre employees indicate that the site is not totally safe. Third, an organizational culture that makes employees afraid to speak up and express doubts is prone to massive problems. Finally, residents of a community with such potentially dangerous equipment should have a strong voice in its continued operation.
Petti Van Rekom – San Clemente, CA 92672
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I am writing this letter as a citizen of San Clemente for the past 8 years. I appreciate living in a great town including the care and quality of life experiences with most of the citizens. In the past all citizens have had many opportunities to voice their position on any developments or construction and justify their view. For example many potentially failing developments have been avoided through this process. When I was informed of a safety concern for the startup of Unit 2 at SONGS I expected the same process. I have since become very concerned that the proper safety issues are not being addressed and possibly hidden in the interest of starting the Unit 2 reactor regardless. I write this letter to urge any responsible organization to intervene and insure that all of the safety issues are 100% resolved prior to Unit 2 being restarted. This is not as simple as changing the quality of living in San Clemente it is much more extremely critical to life in general as exposure to Nuclear radiation is deadly. Please take this request as a serious concern for the safety of the citizens of San Clemente. Do not restart Unit 2 until 100% safety can be assured through proper investigation that does not allow for ignoring any safety issue that could affect San Clemente and nearby cities. Thank you.
Lee Taft – San Clemente CA 92672
To whom it may concern
…and I do hope you all are concerned! Nuclear power is only safe when EVERY LAST PRECAUTION has been taken. It is obvious that there is some sort of rush to get this generator on line, and that does not bide well for the public. This is issue that has little gray area: you are either going to go to bat for the public, the environment, and future generations of Californians by doing EVERYTHING YOU CAN to keep this generator from being improperly initiated; or you are going to allow a greed-blinded corporation make the final decision as to the level of safety we should have in the communities surrounding this power station. We will find your answer in your actions. STEP UP!
Nate Headrick – San Clemente
As Californians, you have the responsibility of setting the standard of regulation for the rest of the country. The stand you take concerns us all as Americans.
It is my belief that the current management at SONGS is only interested in getting the plant operating as soon as possible; probably at the direction of Southern California Edison(SCE). There have been a series of reports by “whistle blowers” that proceeding at this time with the operation of the new generator is not safe. I realize I do not understand the complexities of this problem, but if there are ANY safety concerns the operation should not proceed. In this case I would urge the NRC to insist that the maximum, not minimum safety procedures, be carried out. One small mistake at this aging plant, which SCE promised to shut down in a few years and now wants to extend its operation for twenty plus years, and at least the entire South Orange County and probably much more of Southern California will be subject to a possible catastrophe.
Paul Carlton, San Clemente, CA 92672
As I have said before I hold our city council responsible to work with FEMA to assure SC residents that we have a safe efficient evacuation strategy. At this time if the sirens were to go off, not by accident again, it would be total chaos. Also, I have a few questions regarding the storage pools of radioactive waste.
I understand that the new management is very different from the ‘old days’ of protecting the people from danger. Why is the new team less concerned with safety and instead looking for a fast fix on getting it running? Why are we letting the violations of ten times greater numbers over the industry norm slip through? We, the people need answers. What is happening to management that only thinks of profit over safety?
Karen Hafer – San Clemente, CA 92672
A few weeks back, a bunch of concerned
SC citizens, and other SONGS plagued
worriers from across South County met
locally with this region’s head of FEMA.
An area covering the southwest US, east
to Guam. As you know, FEMA is a Federal
Agency. Our region’s office is in Oakland Ca.
The meeting here went 3-hours. Mostly it
was questions and answers, regarding
SONGS in case of emergency.
Mr. FEMA made it clear, if SONGS experiences
a “hiccup’ (nuke-speak for alarm), FEMA’s
responsibility begins at “the fence.” Meaning:
everything happening inside SONGS’ fence,
is Southern California Edison’s problem.
Everything outside SONGS fence is FEMA’s
responsibility. FEMA basically brings money
to a disaster. Our SONGS first responders,
reside here in South County, Pendleton, and
North San Diego County. California does not
wait for out-of-state help when reacting to
in-state disasters. Mr. FEMA said it’s a good policy.
You can well imagine, every possible SONGS
‘hiccup’ was hashed and rehashed, from terrorist
acts, to plant mistakes, employee errors, to
earthquakes. Mr. FEMA, being far removed from
a SONGS ‘hiccup,’ and not being a first responder
here, but being well versed in every kind of
natural and unnatural disaster, having seen it
all (he took part in Katrina relief), was indeed
sympathetic to living near an aging nuke-plant,
fraught with management problems, exposed
to every kind of misdeed, internally and externally,
sitting atop faulty ground – on sand, as we painted
ugly scenario after ugly scenario, the list went
on and on – his parting words were,
“That’s why they call it – a Disaster.”
It’s important to note, that unlike every other
form of Disaster, except possibly lava flowing
from a volcano – a nuke disaster never stops
being a Disaster.
It keeps radiating its poison, for eons.
A fire, we can never extinguish.
Contemplating the potential unthinkable horrors
SONGS could manifest, the phrase Peter Principal
comes to mind. I Googled it, as a refresher course in
“what can go wrong, will go wrong.”
I recommend you Google it too.
Ironically, The Peter Principal was determined to
be accurate, when applied specifically to nuclear
power generation. Who knew?
SONGS should never be restarted.
Jerry Collamer (continued)
I misquoted The Peter Principal as,
“what could go wrong, will go wrong.”
That’s Murphy’s Law.
The Peter Principal claims, “anything that
works will be used in progressively more
challenging applications until it fails, aka –
employees rising to their level of incompetence.”
I was correct in stating: The Peter Principal
was established through studied observations
at nuclear power plants.
In conclusion (regarding SONGS), may I suggest:
with it’s 2500 employees watching 2500 potential
areas of malfunction inside the creaky, leaky,
rusting ol’double boiler – first comes The Peter
Principle, followed inevitably by Murphy’s Law,
thus assigning an exclusive new ‘law of inevitability’
to SONGS / SONGS Law:
As ordained by her creators, 2013’s all she’s got.
After that, SONGS is frighteningly anyone’s guess,
if, The Peter Principal doesn’t ignite Murphy’s Law
inside SONGS, before 2013.
Does everyone have their iodine pills and 7-day
‘at home’ nuke’s emergency preparedness kit
the city recommends? Because SONGS’ clock
is just about ticked out.
San Clemente, Ca – 92672
I am very concerned about safety issues at the SONGS plant. When there is smoke there is often fire…….and I have heard too much to remain confident that everything is fine. There are an awful lot of people that would be impacted-it is mind boggling.
April – San Clemente
I was thrilled to open the paper this morning and find that this issue is finally getting some press. I was so disappointed to hear the discussion at the city council meeting revolve around the importance of public education in case of an emergency. This is a valid discussion in case of fire or earthquake but, If there is an emergency at SONGS it won’t matter if anyone knows the evacuation procedures because they are laughable – it will be total gridlock! SCE should be focusing on making that plant as safe as possible rather than their “bottom line”. “Minimum standards” should not be acceptable when people’s lives and livelihood are at stake. Thank you,
Marilyn Wigglesworth, San Clemente
I would like to see an information document for residents on what to do and where to turn too , when the alarm goes off, that is the most important item that they can do for us… other than preventing the need to use it.
Laura Penwarden-Smith – San Clemente
I would think that if the ethical ramifications of this potential disaster are not sufficient for anyone with any power to take a stand to demand transparency, the potential legal ramifications should be an effective deterrent. A class action suit by the citizens of the blighted community would not be novel, but would certainly be costly for them in dollars, time and reputation. If neither our elected officials, nor those in appointed or salaried governmental positions, are willing to make the effort required for affirmative, definitive response to the thoroughly well-substantiated requests these rationally concerned citizens have made, they should shudder at the weight of blame that will surely be placed on each of them in the (likely or unlikely!) event of any failure at SONGS.
This is such a basic, simple issue! Why do we, as a nation, continue to bulldoze along with the extreme cost and risk of this particular form of energy without investing sufficiently in the research and development of alternative, renewable energy generators that would benefit our land and our people without risking their lives, and such catastrophic magnitude of destruction? It’s so basic–even if you won’t admit that an earthquake is an inevitability–just considering the scope of consequences for ANY error that MIGHT occur, be it act of God, act of terrorism, mechanical or human failure, would lead any non-invested, impartial person to the obvious conclusion that the potential cost is too extreme: nuclear energy is too hazardous, even if it WAS the LAST resort, and it ISN’T!
If those responsible for this project at San Onofre truly consider this method the safest, cleanest and most cost-effective for energy generation, why bully through to fire it up again (seeming only scared and uncaring) when they could simply take the time to answer the questions, run the tests, and PROVE what they so adamantly insist? We, the citizens and ratepayers are footing the bill for that time anyway–why ignore us if you can so readily give us our money’s worth?
A deeply concerned mother and half-century resident citizen ratepayer – Ellen Rhoda – San Clemente
To All Who Have The Authority To Act,
It is imperative that extreme caution is used before San Onofre goes back on line. No one wants delays to cause negative financial consequences; however, safety must take precedence over short term financial concerns. If an accident happens, not only will life and property be destroyed or injured, but financial costs will soar. In the interest of everything we value, please act prudently. Thank you.
San Clemente, CA 92673
No one is looking to delay the start of SONGS for any other reason that that of its safety. A delay might cause short term negative financial consequences for them; however, safety must take precedence and I can?t imagine why it escapes their little minds that if an accident were to happen, not only would life be destroyed or injured, but financial costs would be outrageous. Why this is even an issue is beyond me…I guess the new Management does not reside in San Clemente?
Eva Liebig – San Clemente
Please let whom ever know that there are many who care about ourselves, our children, and the earth and hope they will also care and consider the ramifications of actions taken . Please consider the safety of us all and have the checks and double check that protect us from harm.
Sincerely, Barbara Wilson San Clemente, CA.
I am concerned about safety at SONGS. Why wouldn’t the city council go on record regarding safety concerns? Why aren’t Pendleton Marines voicing concerns regarding safety? Why aren’t businesses and home owners voicing concerns regarding safety? In the event of a SONGS meltdown the City of San Clemente could become a ghost town. The marine base could become inoperable, affecting national security. Business and homeowners would lose everything. Let’s address safety concerns before a Unit 2 start up!
Terry Wigglesworth – San Clemente
These reactors were designed for a certain life span and as pipes and connections and valves and rings wear, the possibilities for problems increase no matter how vigilant we are and that’s not even factoring in human error. I operate a store that is in a building only seven years old and in one week we had a leak in a seal in a pipe behind a wall, a pigeon died on the roof and fell into the roof drain causing a big old back up of water and somebody pushed a little too hard on the light switch in the bathroom and broke the switch plate and the tile on the wall. That’s only one week but it is typical of what happens. When we’re talking about what’s possible to go wrong in a nuclear power plant where some of the infrastructure in more than 40 years old, I can only imagine how many fingers have to go into how many dikes to keep the whole thing together. Let’s try to confront the immense effect any serious problem at the plant will have on our land and our lives and do the responsible thing…which is to shut down the plant until such time as the taxpayers no longer have to guarantee its safety and we have a waste disposal answer we all agree will address the enormous span of time the waste remains lethal. Let Edison keep all the money they currently make off the plant; but let’s make them stop producing energy that threatens our lives and the lives of all future generations.
Nancy Casady – San Diego
Today a friend who is the wife of an engineer at the plant told me they have had multiple problems with this generator. Things are definitley not running smoothly. And then they have us!!!!
Kimi, San Clemente
Thanks, Gary, for your persistence on behalf of all of us and our safety and in the face of opposition. You are to be admired. I was in the area of TMI in ’79 and the news coverage in Harrisburg was very reassuring. I was a sales rep at the time and when I called my office in NJ, they said to me, “Get out of the region immediately! Do you know what is happening there?” Interesting, no?
I have been surprised by some of the the letters to the editor attacking Gary Headrick and the rest of us who are concerned about safety at issues at SONGS. I was particularly appalled by the letter from Thom Von Gremp, whose reasoning and writing style are those of an 8-year-old. Gary has repeatedly stated that he is not against nuclear power stations; rather, he is trying to ensure the safety of the community.
Based on these letters to the editor and statements made in the City Council meeting, including one made by Councilman Bob Baker, many people believe we should “let the experts do their job.” But none of these opinions acknowledges the fact that SONGS is an aging facility that is using somewhat obsolete processes, and that ensuring safety is more important now than ever before. Furthermore, many of the problems described appear to be management problems.
I attended the City Council meeting on February 2nd and heard several SONGS employees speak about their concerns. I also heard a well-qualified (“expert”) Sr Vice President at SONGS make a statement that did not acknowledge that there were problems to be fixed. As one of the new management team brought in two years ago, he was presumably responsible for reestablishing a smoothly functioning working team after the chaos of a management change. That this has not been accomplished yet seems to be one of the major problems at SONGS, and it will not be accomplished until it is acknowledged. There are always bumps in the road when upper management changes. By drawing management’s attention to the problems brought forward by whistleblowers who have not had their concerns adequately addressed, Gary Headrick has done us all a great service.
I believe we need more citizen activists like Gary to step in and raise public awareness when corporations and governments forget that it’s not just about the economy anymore. We all know that chasing profits cannot trump safety.
Diane Etchison, San Clemente
This is in regards to the very serious issue of nuclear plant safety at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station also known as SONGS (a very misleading & inappropriate acronym–many citizens have no idea what SONGS even stands for!). It has recently been made public, through “whistle-blowers” (plant employees who should be regarded as heroes & not as alarmists), that there are severe safety infractions & violations of improper procedures with regards to the daily operations. This facility is due to re-start a new generator very soon, and we are very concerned that SCE management is cutting corners & ignoring safety protocols in order to meet their goals and bottom line, their profit margins. This is when accidents happen–when rules & regulations are not followed. No one expects a disaster in their backyards, until it happens. Then it is too little, too late.
We believe the citizens of not only San Clemente, but the entire Southern California region (12 million+ people) could be in jeopardy of a serious catastrophe because of this rush to get the plant’s generators re-started. Please, Governor, and City Leaders, do NOT let another “Three-Mile Island”, “China Syndrome”, “Silkwood” or, God forbid, another “Chernobyl” happen here. The fact that this nuclear plant sits next to the earthquake Newport-Inglewood fault-line, makes this an even more dangerous situation. One can only imagine the devastation, not if, but WHEN a 6.0 or greater temblor happens…Are we to be the next Mexico City, Pakistan or Haiti, with radiation leakage or explosions added into the already horrific mix of a massive earthquake? Please send whatever “powers that be”, the people who are in charge of overseeing safety at nuclear facilities (the NRC & above) to fully inspect SONGS and do a complete audit of all the past & current infractions & violations, especially focusing on the complaints & concerns that have been raised by the very employees who work here and see the day-to-day happenings. For people who have no concerns, why not let the experts, unbiased non-employees, have a look to either confirm or deny what the “whistle-blowers” are claiming? Governor, and City Council, the safety, well-being and indeed, the very lives of the citizenry of this state depends on your immediate attention & action to this matter. I would very much appreciate an email response to the citizens of San Clemente and our City Council. Do not let San Clemente become “San Calamity” nor turn our Golden State into a “Glowing State”. Please address our very grave concerns, for the well-being of all. Thank you.
Jill Jeffers Hawkins
San Clemente, CA 92672
Nobody ever thought 3 Mile Island or Chernobyl would have a problem. I am concerned that something negative is happening at San Ofre as people were fired for “falsied records” and a new contractor was brought in. Unrest still exists. There seems to be enough concern to increase NRC’s oversight from one person to three. There should be no HASTE to restart something as dangerous as a power plant can be. This is an old plant with old technology…and just what can go wrong next?? All safety questions need to be resolved before the restart. Thank you for all you do for the public.
Thanks! Juniel Worthington
We support preventing the re-start of Unit 2 at San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant until all serious safety issues have been resolved. We may not live near San Clemente, but we are still concerned for our fellow Californians who live in that area. Sylvia – Aromas, CA
When you live next door to a nuclear power plant ANY concern is a serious concern!
I sat in a very lively city council meeting a few weeks ago. When the meeting ended, I was flabbergasted that even after concerns had been aired to the point that the NRC representative strongly desired to hear more, the San Clemente City Council abandoned any responsibility and abruptly moved on to the next agenda item.
Here you had brave 20 to 25 year Edison employees expressing their own serious safety concerns, citizens telling how NO INFO was available to them while a siren was blowing in the 4am hour and a woman who’s full time job it is to see that our city is prepared for a nuclear emergency stated she had no after hours media channels in place, hence the lack of information. Recently it has come out that the Iodide pills the city handed out years ago have expired and that the online preparedness info is not available in Spanish!
This is not a joke!
Action must be taken before the start up of unit 2 and it appears the NRC knows this!
San Clemente, CA
My family has become very anxious in recent years as we have learned more and more about the aging nuclear plant near our home known as San Onofre or SONGS. The most disturbing information is that there is not enough government oversight and there is a very weak emergency plan in place should the plant leak radiation. Equally disturbing is the fact that it is situated on a fault line and should we have an earthquake of any significant size, our town and surrounding areas could be exposed to excessive amounts of toxic radiation. I am grateful for the leadership of citizens such as Gary Headrick and encourage the leaders of California to protect its citizens in every way possible from a potential nuclear disaster.
San Clemente, CA 92673
As a resident of San Clemente I am concerned that I do not know what to do in case of an emergency at SONGS. I am concerned that during the workday I am 20 miles away from my children at school and I have not been provided ANY information as to what the schools procedures are in the event of an emergency. I am BEYOND concerned that safety issues have been “leaked” from SONGS employees and are not being properly addressed. It is both frightening and angering that any and all safety concerns would not be investigated and resolved prior to initiating Unit 2. It is obvious that profit is the motive here and the safety of an entire community is at risk. There are so many issues that need to be addressed; the safety of the Unit, the preparedness of the community and the mismanagement of the plant, prior to a potentially dangerous move in starting up Unit 2 and I hope these concerns will take a higher priority at the request of our community.
Amber Smith – San Clemente
When I relocated to San Clemente in 2006, I was given several documents to sign acknowledging that I was purchasing property near a Nuclear Reaction site. I signed those papers without hesitation, as I felt certain the facility would be run under the strictest safety guidlines. However, the recent events at SONGS has me worried. There is no justification for making a dash to completion to restart — or not to restart — or when to restart Unit II when the decision ignores proper safety procedures. This is not what a signed on for when purchasing my property.
Isobel Pelham, San Clemente, Ca 92672
I have lost all confidence in the NRC, SCE, et al, for allowing the restart of SONGS Unit 2 amid concerns from the residents and “whistle blowers” regarding the safetly issues associated with this restart. It was my belief as a thirty-six year resident of this area, that ALL safety concerns were being adequately handled by the energy industry and government watch dogs. Seems like I’ve been very naive; and now I’m outraged that the voices of the citizens are being ignored by those whom I have trusted. What are you trying to hide from the public by ignoring their concerns?
Ed Schlegel, Capistrano Beach, 92624
I believe residents of San Clemente should have fresh Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets prior to the start up of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2. The doses originally distributed have expired. This is a prudent course of action even if an accidental release of radiation is unlikely. The added level of preparation is definitely worth a short delay in the SONGS plan.
Our family has lived in San Clemente for over 30 years, with full knowledge that there was a nuclear power plant very near that could, under the worst of circumstances, present a dire problem for surrounding populations. Yet, because we had confidence that those who worked at S.O.N.G.S, along with the regulatory agencies that oversee its functioning, were diligent and thorough and presumably put our safety first, we rarely gave that a thought. Now, however, learning that employees, whose very livelihoods depend upon the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station continuing to operate, are now blowing whistles and attempting to warn the rest of us that problems exist, I have very serious concerns. There needs to be a thorough investigation into the issues raised, and Unit 2 should not be started up until all safety concerns have been completely addressed, and every safeguard and testing conducted to assure residents that all will be well. If a climate has been allowed to evolve that threatens those who bravely speak up, this needs to be recognized as the very serious symptom that it is. And speaking just for me, the potassium iodide tablets should be distributed prior to there being any possibility of their need, and not be put off as an inconvenience as we rush to meet an imposed deadline.
Georgette Korsen ? San Clemente
We support preventing the re-start of Unit 2 at San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant until all serious safety issues have been resolved. We live in San Clemente, and we are concerned for the safety of our community and our State.
Pauline and Tom Faye, San Clemente
Please hear the PLEAS of the beach residences
And local surfers like me and my children
Regarding the SAN ONFRE CRISIS…
Please protect our beaches from the money
Hungry contractors that want nothing more
Than to build on the beach and surrounding
Precious ground, To ONLY go home to their
LA County home or anywhere other than having to deal
With and live with their bad choices and environmental neglect.
The beaches belong to the AMERICAN PEOPLE
Not just the contractors that are full of greed.
2010 is about…WAKE UP AMERICA
Please hear our plea, to wake up America
And protect our world our children our future.
Thanks for listening.
San Juan Capistrano, CA
I wish to express my EXTREME concern of the starting of ANY Nuclear operations that have not been properly tested and repaired. Our quaint little town of San Clemente is where my children are at school all day and rarely leave the area. We should not be susceptible to the dangers of inadequate safety. It is a well known fact that the cost of properly maintaining a SAFE environment involving the reactors is very large. It appears that those who are ” In charge” have more concern with profit than the safety of the people in the surrounding area of San Onofre.
Mark Wood, San Clemente, California
To whom it may concern,
I’m writing to demand that all precautionary steps, which have been outlined by San Clemente Green, be taken before San Onofre’s Unit 2 is restarted. It’s very disturbing to me that the SC Greens, and many other San Clemente residents request for a San Onofre Safety forum, before the start up of Unit 2 is not being fulfilled. Democracy requires that citizens have as much information as possible to make rational decisions, a public safety forum would do just that; provide the public with the information they need.
Sincerely, Chris McCormack – San Clemente
I wanted to thank you for your time and effort regarding the frightening things happening at SONGS. I attended the San Clemente City Council meeting last week and it is obvious that the city is not yet equipped to deal with a mass evacuation. I?m not sure a mass evacuation is actually possible, even with the best laid plans. That said, I would much prefer that we reduce the need for an evacuation by making sure that SONGS is responsible and accountable for their actions. Public safety is of the utmost importance, and SONGS needs to get their act together.
Dagmar Foy, San Clemente Resident
I ended up leaving town on Wednesday night with my two kids for the entire weekend and just got back (to miss the original date set for start up of Unit 2). We are scared to live here and since we are in the military we are looking at every possibility to leave the area. I feel, as with a lot of things in life, ‘the powers that be’ don’t tell us what we need to know and don’t protect us as they should. That is why we have such an urgency to get out of town. I wish people would just inform us of what is going on. What more can I do to
get information and keep this reactor from starting up under present conditions?
Patricia Campbell, Camp Pendleton
From a speech given before the San Clemente City Council
Mayor and council members,
About 30 years ago I attended and spoke at a required local FEMA hearing during the licensing process for Units 2 & 3. There were some inherent problems then that I believe still exist today. I have shared concerns at several FEMA hearings about the inability to evacuate San Clemente in a timely manner. I am told it would take 6.3 hours to evacuate all residents. With a mild breeze of 5 miles/hour any airborne radiation would be in Tustin before us.
1. The only viable routes out of San Clemente northbound are I-5 and PCH. We are to wait at freeway onramps until given permission to leave in an orderly fashion from the sheriffs on hand. The first to leave would be the southernmost areas and then proceed to the north. I doubt it will be orderly and I believe people will overreact to a possible release of radiation.
The license was approved expecting the completion of La Pata which was on the Orange County Master Plan of Arterial Highways. After 30 years, La Pata is still on the plan, but still years away from completion
2. Parents are not to pick up their children at school and are to rely on the school district to evacuate their children to a designated reception center where they will be reunited. What parent would leave San Clemente without their children? I have been told that the evacuation of school children will begin by bus before the general alert would be sounded to the public. If parents do attempt to reach their children there will be gridlock. Many children as young as second grade have cell phones to contact and alert their parents.
Fact. We do not have a sufficient supply of school buses to handle all the children and we must depend on the shared services agreements with other adjacent school districts. I polled many bus drivers 30 years ago and found there were not enough dedicated drivers to enter a hazard zone to remove the children of others instead of attending to their own families.
I have lived in and loved San Clemente for over 33 years. My only comfort about adequate evacuation plans comes from the fact that the prevailing winds are normally south and east and not toward San Clemente. But, I have ridden my bicycle enough times to Oceanside know that this is not always the case.
At the first meeting, we were told that simple false alarm problems had been rectified. Obviously not, as a second false alarm was sounded shortly thereafter. What about larger problems? SONGS is 30 years old and the extreme heat generated in the process has caused wear on all the parts, not just the generators.
Why not perform hot functional testing before contaminating the new generator? Yes, it would delay start up which would cost SONGS and then the rate payers more money. Mr. Ridenauer stated Unit 2 will start up on schedule. (The start up has since been rescheduled but, by testing it before the reactor is contaminated we might be able to resolve any leaks earlier and possibly save money for the rate payers.
A recent unexploded hand grenade at Vista Hermosa and the I-5 demonstrated how incapable we are to adequately evacuate San Clemente in the case of a nuclear event at SONGS or any other type of disaster. The I-5 and every surface street became immediately impacted and came to an abrupt halt for hours.
I have been told that the I-5 northbound will be closed at the 78 in Oceanside. That is 20 miles of traffic heading northbound before reaching SONGS and adding to the traffic attempting to evacuate San Clemente. The I-5 southbound traffic will be closed at the interchange of the I-5 and the 405. Two southbound lanes are to be kept available for emergency vehicles and two lanes made available for additional northbound traffic. One can only imagine the giant traffic jam at the Y when the lanes join again.
After all, maintaining a safe, healthy atmosphere in which to live, work and play is a major responsibility of the City Council.
Alan Korsen, San Clemente – Former City Councilman
Now this is about a concern for every human being in this wonderful Universe, (including our pet friends). The subject matter is basically about the handling of rather obvious danger in restarting up the San Onofre Nuclear Generator Station. There seems to be a ?leak? in management. How could this happen? How can there be obvious errors? How can all enough safety concerns be made available?.just what does it take to see that attention is brought to the people responsible, ASAP? Thank goodness, a relatively small but growing group of concerned citizens are bringing this problem up to the public in general. They have had open discussion groups with the City Council of San Clemente including an impressive response from the media, etc. All this interest has come about from citizens that have pointed out the dangerous condition of the current nuclear processing system. We have enough natural disasters that cannot be avoided?.if at all possible we must do what we can to avoid and correct any man-made oversights.
Elaine Gocke ? Past resident of San Clemente
I just want to voice my concerns along with everyone else here. The safety of SONGS should be the first and foremost thing on everyone’s mind especially those with the power to do something to make it safe. My family heard the false alarm go off and we had no idea what to do. What if it had been a real emergency? Many of the things I have heard about SONGS lately are so disturbing I just can’t ignore it. If you’re listening, I hope you can’t ignore it either. Please do something to keep my family, my friends, and my fellow citizens safe. Public safety before profit should be a given.
Deven Hollrigel, San Clemente, CA 92673
As a first time temporary Bechtel construction assistant safety supervisor for the fall 2008 unit 3 outtage, I was able to witness the inter working climate of Bechtel vs Edison vs the union trades workers. Bechtel personnel and the trade workers were sometime looked down upon by some of the Edison higher ups and were hardly ever given credit or were recognized for their professional efforts in meeting Edisons demanding work schedules or quality standards. Moral at the trade worker level was very low. They never felt appreciated. Bechtel always looked at Edison as the “client” and gave their all to Edison both in respect and effort.
When I arrived at SONGS in September 2008, the only two recently published public safety concerns I was aware of was 1)a fire watch situation and 2)a battery failure on a generator (?).
How Ross Ridenoure and his crew could remove a company such as Bechtel, with their 30 plus years of SONGS history and experience is beyond me. The moral problem and safety concerns at SONGS apparently has grown much worse since I was there. I only hope the situation is successfully resolved.
Ted Clements, Palm Springs, CA
Thank you for any info you can send re states? rights resistance to NRC claim to authority to issue extension of licenses without design basis, site specific, public participation of original licensing intervener qualified status regulations proceedings, based on NUREG 50-100
We have heard that there are five states rejecting those extensions, in separate independent court proceeding to invalidate actions that approved extensions beyond the safety licensing. We must have any info and substantiation that you can provide. Which of these States are in your domain?or beyond if you have info and can give us contacts to research?
We may mount an appeal for our Attorney General Edmund ?Jerry? Brown to make a states? rights challenge, based on the same ?costs? appeal that was foundation of his 1976 law that initiated State of California transition to efficiency programs and renewable energy/distributive California Energy Action Plan.
We may have only a short time to initiate actions?to influence a decision to delay restart of Unit 2 of San Onofre new weld defective equipment of deficient metals.
I am proposing an appeal to Edison to reject the unacceptable machinery that has been installed In Unit II, but reactor not restarted, and to also reject two generators also being manufactured by Mitsubishi for installation in October, that are undergoing months of re-build in Japan to remove defects. These generators are all (Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported to be) of ?thermally treated alloy 690 tubes, stainless steel tube supports and a low alloy steel shell.? This is not the ?superior no-leak metal? that is promised by the ?new generation? nuclear industry lobby.
NRC staff information is that Palo Verde replaced generators are leaking already. While different in size of San Onofre,? the materials to construct them are essentially the same.? Thus, similar metal performance failure might be expected from the new SO generators.
Our ?Billion Dollar Question? then becomes, ?Is the Mitsubishi/Edison contract worded to provide our ratepayer money of hundreds of millions of dollars to return to us, if Edison rejects the deficient merchandise before it radiates it in restart?
This action appeal is for expansion of our San Onofre Safety SOS coalition campaign led by Gary Headrick, founder of San Clemente Green.
Appreciatively, Lyn Harris Hicks, Advocate, CREED Coalition for Responsible and Ethical Environmental Decisions
I want to say I have the utmost appreciation and respect for the majority employees at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Most are diligent about their jobs and responsibilities and work hard everyday to keep their co-workers and the surrounding communities safe from the inherent dangers at a nuclear power plant. Unfortunately, as the recent newspaper articles, whistleblowers and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reports attest to, there is real reason for concern regarding the safety at SONGS.
First of all, during a false siren alarm, our community residents realized how unprepared they were if it was a true emergency. I feel it is the responsibility of our leaders and Southern California Edison (SCE) to make sure the surrounding population has been properly prepared. Sending out a brochure once a year is not enough. People do not know what to do to properly shelter at home in case of a worst case scenario. The plans for school children seem uncertain and until just this past Wednesday the schools only had expired potassium iodide pills on site.
Secondly, serious safety performance issues have come to light from whistleblowers as well as inspections and investigations by the NRC. How does it make any sense to more forward with installing new generators in order to extend the life of the aging plant when there are so many safety concerns that have not been resolved? The safe operation of a nuclear plant rest as much on its employees as the mechanical systems they operate. The fact that SONGS employees are coming forward to express their concerns should be a wake up call for all of us.
And last but not least, is the plant itself. After looking into this further, many of the problems there seem to be due to outdated systems. Cracks, rust, pinholes, faulty wiring, tritium leaks, malfunctioning valves, the list goes on and on. If this plant was being built today it would not meet the newer standards. There have been great improvements in technology and mechanical systems since this plant was constructed. Not to mention, it is built in proximity to two earthquake faults, one of which had a 4.1 temblor last year. And what about the radioactive waste that is being stored on site? Are those storage pools built to withstand a significant tremor? Has SONGS been seismically analyzed and upgraded to withstand a 7.5 or greater earthquake? Isn?t that a requirement in order for it to continue to operate? If it isn?t, it should be, when one considers the devastation of people, property and our coastal environment not if, but when a large earthquake hits this area. It is just a matter of time according to all the seismic experts.
Recently, the State Water Resource Board has said it is considering a plan to force power companies to spend billions to stop using ocean water to cool their machinery. Everyday, the intake pipes at San Onofre take in enough water to fill Lake Arrowhead, along with billion of marine eggs and larvae and millions of fish. Stuart Hemphill, Senior Vice President of SCE, has said such a large construction project would not be economically feasible.
I just can?t help wondering why is it worth continuing with this plant when there are safer, cleaner more sustainable alternatives available. The billions of dollars being put into solving all these very serious issues seems like such a short-sighted investment. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to thoroughly investigate and resolve these safety concerns before allowing Unit 2 to restart. Let?s work together to make sure we leave this beautiful, irreplaceable coastal environment safe and clean for all to enjoy in perpetuity.
Laurie Headrick, Co-Founder of San Clemente Green
Dear Gary & Laurie,
I want to thank you and San Clemente Green for bringing the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), crisis to the forefront of our Community. How many times have we heard big industry along with their regulatory agencies telling us ?not to worry,? when in fact, it is just business as usual — a behavior that is only so prevalent for the energy industry.
At this same time, on the other side of the country, residents of Vermont are feeling the repercussions of trusting in these same ?experts.? Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is a 38-year-old plant owned and operated by Entergy, Inc. In 2007, the cooling tower collapsed, and in the past year radioactive tritium was found in nearby groundwater. Entergy officials adamantly testified under oath to two state panels that there were no buried pipes at Vermont Yankee that could leak tritium.
It was later discovered that there were indeed buried pipes leaking tritium into groundwater. Who could have known?
Now here we are with SONGS, an older nuclear facility, a brand new (and more powerful) generator being installed on a 43-year-old infrastructure built on a major fault, new management under pressure to perform, complacent regulatory officials, a list of whistle-blower cases, and they want us to trust the ?experts.?
I ask, can we do more than ?trust?? We need science and regulation over profits.
In closing, thank you again for all the great work that you and San Clemente Green have accomplished. My family appreciates it greatly.
San Clemente Community Market