By Jim Shilander
A number of anti-nuclear advocates asked council members Tuesday to consider a resolution calling for the swiftest possible removal of nuclear waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Members of the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre, an umbrella group that includes a number of organizations opposed to the plant, asked the council to send a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as elected officials, to extend the public comment period on the NRC’s Draft Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement Report. The comment period is set to end Friday, December 20. Activists also urged the creation of a site specific plan dealing with the environmental impacts of storing spent nuclear waste at the San Onofre plant.
Gary Headrick, president of San Clemente Green, said while the status of the plant divided many in the city when it was producing power, he felt there was “more in common” now with concerns over the status of the waste at the site. Resident Donna Gilmore, who operates the San Onofre Safety website, said she believed the presence of high burn-up fuel at the plant represent “a real scandal” in terms of the greater time needed to store the fuel.
Another resident, Roger Johnson, urged the council to pay attention to the results of an upcoming cancer study examining whether there was an increased risk in areas around nuclear plants, which includes a study around SONGS.
The council unanimously agreed to agendize the proposed letter at its next meeting, December 17. Mayor Tim Brown said he felt there was at least board support on the board to urge for the safe removal of waste stored at the site.
Resident Richard Boyer, who has worked in the nuclear industry, told the council concerns about radiation from the plant’s stored fuel were overblown.
“All your hearing is a hysterical distortion,” Boyer said.