Gambling With the Planet. 'Beyond Irresponsible!'

California Senator Barbara Boxer quizzes the NRC on nuclear safety issues.

Put On Your BigBoy Pants, America,
and Suck It Up!
Updated
[ Scroll down for videos: SHUTDOWN: The Case of San Onofre – Preview Interviews ]

Speaking at a March 12 symposium hosted by the Defense Strategies Institute, Paul Kudarauskas, of the EPA Consequence Management Advisory Team, said events like Fukushima would cause a “fundamental shift” to cleanup.
U.S. residents are used to having “cleanup to perfection,” but will have to abandon their “not in my backyard” mentality in such cases, Kudarauskas said. “People are going to have to put their big boy pants on and suck it up.” [Emphasis added]

“All 104 nuclear reactors currently operational in the US have irreparable safety issues and should be taken out of commission and replaced.” former [forced out] chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory B. Jaczko

“…[W]hile Germany has shut down its older nuclear reactors, in the US and elsewhere, even plants that have the same flawed design as Fukushima continue to operate. The nuclear industry’s very existence is dependent on hidden public subsidies – costs borne by society in the event of nuclear disaster, as well as the costs of the still-unmanaged disposal of nuclear waste. So much for unfettered capitalism!” Joseph E Stiglitz

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is build in an earthquake and tsunami zone, right next to the main north/south freeway between Los Angles and San Diego, 8.5 million people in the evacuation zone, in the middle of Camp Pendleton, a strategically vital U.S. military base. What could possibly go wrong?

NRC Defies Congressional Overseers. San Onofre Summer Restart ‘Poses No Risk’ to Public Safety.
From Kendra Ulrich of Friends of the Earth:

“As many of you know, yesterday Senator Barbara Boxer – Chairman of the Senate NRC oversight committee (Environment and Public Works) – and Congressman Markey sent a strong letter to NRC Chairman Macfarlane regarding the proposed license amendment request and no significant hazard consideration for the crippled San Onofre Unit 2 reactor. In that letter, Boxer and Markey explicitly stated that granting a no significant hazard consideration determination would put the public at risk. They also requested that all open investigations be completed prior to any decisions about both license amendment and restart being made. The letter requested a response by COB today.

Instead of responding to the Senator Boxer and Congressman Markey by COB today, the NRC issued a notice at 4:30 this afternoon of the acceptance of the license amendment application and a preliminary acceptance of Edison’s no significant hazard consideration.

Their audacity is rather stunning.” For Kendra’s blog post on this issue The NRC – Edison’s atomic lapdog
click here.

Senator Boxer and Rep. Markey Respond to the NRC Staff Proposal That Could Pave the Way for Restart of the Damaged San Onofre Nuclear Plant
April 10, 2013

Washington, D.C. — Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement in response to reports that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff have issued a proposed finding related to the restart of the damaged San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Senator Boxer said: “The NRC staff proposal, which could pave the way for the restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant before the investigations of the crippled plant are completed, is dangerous and premature. It makes absolutely no sense to even consider taking any steps to reopen San Onofre until these investigations look at every aspect of reopening the plant given the failure of the tubes that carry radioactive water. In addition, the damaged plant is located in an area at risk of earthquake and tsunami. With eight million people living within 50 miles of this plant, the staff proposal is beyond irresponsible.”

Rep. Markey said: “Today, the NRC showed blatant disregard for the safety of tens of millions of people who live near the San Onofre nuclear plant. It is absurd for NRC to say that Southern California Edison’s license amendment is entirely unrelated to a future decision to allow the restart of the reactor; it is like saying that giving someone a driver’s license has nothing to do with allowing them to drive a car.”

From Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse archivist Roger Herried at Energy-Net.org:
Herried contacted Frank Rusco of GAO, who is the contact person for the evacuation report. It was Senator Boxer and EPW that originally requested that the report be done.

IAnd guess what. My hunch was correct, the report was actually ready in time for the 2nd anniversary of Fukushima for release, but was not released by Boxer or the committee!

Rather than being an important piece of information that could have been used for the major public meeting with NRC here in California, it ended up being non-news because the NRC decided to trump the story by releasing their own out of the blue okay to go ahead with San Onofre 4 hours after GAO released the report! So there has been no news coverage at all in California about the report. Instead all media outlets are covering the okay to restart!

Buried in the report was an even more stunning revelation of a 2008 report done by Sandia Labs that included a whole section on how they could micro-manage an evacuation of Los Angeles, while completely ignoring Orange County (population 3 million) that lies between LA and San Onofre!

Here’s an image from that report –

Escape from LA - NRC 'evacuation plans' in the event of a San Onofre earthquake/tsunami/meltdown don't include Orange County.

look at the dose figure (current PAG’s require evac when doses reach 2-5 rem) and the idea that any part of L.A could be evacuated in less than 3 hours is absurd, not to mention everyone in SoCal is terrified of a double wammy of an earthquake and a meltdown, which is completely ignored by the study as well as the 2008 report or Sandia 2004 report that never looks at the potential of the two events happening at the same time!

This is nuts!

The big question is why was such an important report held up by Boxer? This needs to be looked into further! I don’t want to make Boxer look bad here, but this doesn’t look good at all….

…[I]t is not necessarily the GAO report that I think was the main reason why this got waylaid, but the fact that it mentioned an almost completely unknown report done by Sandia Labs in 2008 – where in Chapter 5, it attempts to micromanage an evacuation strategy for Los Angeles, while seemingly ignoring the fact that if radiation levels seeped into LA that required such evacuation might there also be a need to evacuate Orange County (3 million people) which is south of LA. but never mentioned….

If this report had been seen weeks ago, it most certainly would have been incredibly explosive for the region, instead it had to compete with the staff’s press statement a few hours later.

I would add that back in 1984 it was the NRC that illegally failed to follow its own regulations when it licensed Diablo Canyon and got away with it. We still have copies of the NRC transcripts of their illegal behavior that also included their internal acknowledgement that they also illegally licensed San Onofre all because they failed to do proper adjudication of evacuation planning. This issue went all the way to the US Supreme Court but was killed by Robert Bork’s ruling in the DC Court. He of course was the infamous Saturday Night Masscre Lawyer of Nixon Watergate fame.

We are potentially talking the smoking gun that could have played a major roll public opinion in SoCal on whether or not to let San Onofre restart.

GAO Report here.

2008 Sandia Labs Study Evacuation study – with chapter five being about Los Angeles! Here.

Harvey Wasserman reports in his latest piece San Onofre to the Public: DROP DEAD!

Boxer (202-224-3553) and Markey (202-225-2836) are now being asked to hold those adjudicated public hearings in southern California, and to investigate the GAO’S findings on evacuation, before any new license is granted at San Onofre.

More background links on this story will be found below.


Meanwhile, we interrupt this blog for an EON announcement, to wit:

SHUTDOWN: The Case of San Onofre ‘Preview Interviews’ Launched

We have begun posting Preview Interviews with individuals included in the upcoming documentary series SHUTDOWN: The Case of San Onofre, a look at California’s resurgent Nuclear Free California movement. EON is producing the project in cooperation with Womens Energy Matters.

SHUTDOWN will focus on the microcosm of San Onofre unpack the macrocosmic, planetary issues surrounding the current controversy over whether or not to restart a crippled San Onofre nuclear reactor, and, as economist Joe Steigletz puts it, ‘gamble with the planet.’

Here are the first two Preview Interviews’ in the series – your opportunity to hear the in-depth thinking underlying the brief sound bites that will make the cut in the final film.

Kill Nuclear Power Before It Kills Us’ – Top Exec.

This is the first in EON’s series of ‘preview interviews’ of participants in the forthcoming documentary SHUTDOWN: The Case of San Onofre – a look at the resurgent Nuclear Free California movement and it’s opponents.

S. David Freeman, legendary former Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) administrator, who has shutdown many a nuke in his career – and is now working in his 85th year to help local residents and Friends of the Earth decommission San Onofre – explains why we have to ‘kill nuclear power before it kills us.’

Donna Gilmore – Shutdown San Onofre
This is the second in EON’s series of ‘preview interviews’ of participants in the forthcoming documentary SHUTDOWN: The Case of San Onofre.

San Clemente resident Donna Gilmore, the founder of SanOnofreSafety.org talks about her own process of awakening to the risks posed by the nearby San Onofre nuclear reactors, and her discovery, confirmed by the Governor’s Office that Gov. Brown has the authority to shut down California’s San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors because they violate the ‘once-through-cooling’ prohibition under the State’s Water Resources Control Board’s rules.

Future SHUTDOWN ‘Preview Interviews’ will include San Clemente Green co-founders Lauri & Gary Headricks; Emergency Response Expert Deanna Polk; Investigative Reporter Harvey Wasserman; Urban Planner Torgen Johnson; WomensEnergyMatters.org Founder Barbara George and others-to-be-posted. Stay tuned….

Backgrounder links:

San Onofre to the Public: DROP DEAD!
Harvey Wasserman
The bitter battle over two stricken southern California reactors has taken a shocking seismic hit. read more

GAO Report Highlights Concerns on Emergency Response Near Nuclear Power Plants
GAO finds NRC needs better understanding of emergency preparedness beyond 10-mile zone

Sen. Boxer Seeks Investigation Into Changes at San Onofre Nuclear Site
By Nick Gerda
Fairewinds repost here.

Agency Staff Signals No Hazard in Nuke Plant Start
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press

Sen. Boxer Blasts Report on San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

NRC Proposes No Safety Threat Finding With San Onofree
By Mark Chediak – Apr 10, 2013 6:41 PM PT

Senator Boxer and Rep. Markey Call on NRC to Complete Investigation before Restart Decisions are Made for San Onofre Nuclear Plant

Gambling with the planet
Japan’s disaster and the global recession provide stark lessons on societies’ failure to manage risks, economist says.
Joseph E Stiglitz

Irreparable’ safety issues: All US nuclear reactors should be replaced, ‘Band-Aids’ won’t help

Former NRC Chair
All 104 nuclear reactors currently operational in the US have irreparable safety issues and should be taken out of commission and replaced, former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory B. Jaczko said.

The State of Nuclear Power in US: Bad and Worse
New report says NRC is ill-prepared for massive meltdown, which former NRC chair says is likely.

Fukushima nuclear plant springs another radioactive leak</strong>

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