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By Eric Heinz

Information provided by Southern California Edison as well as its Community Engagement Panel has not been sufficient for the members of a coalition of concerned citizens throughout Orange and San Diego Counties regarding spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

On Wednesday, June 8, the group Secure Nuclear Waste met in Laguna Beach to discuss issues with an audience of more than 100 people pertaining to the now-defunct plant’s storage of spent nuclear fuel, security and the geology of its location. A panel of doctors, scientists and local government officials as well as advocacy groups hosted the meeting, which Charles Langley of Public Watchdogs called “the real Community Engagement Panel.”

The CEP is comprised of officials from Edison, the Sierra Club, local government officials and researchers to provide information about the decades-long process of decommissioning SONGS. But SNW representatives say that panel is playing to the favor of Edison to deceive the public from actual dangers that may still exist.

In fall of 2015, Edison was awarded a permit to store more than 1,600 tons of spent nuclear fuel on-site in stainless steel, dry cask canisters, which will be provided by Holtec International. SNW advocates said the canisters are too thin (proposed to be five-eighths of an inch thick), will inevitably crack and will not be able to be transported to a permanent storage facility in the future.

“There is 89 times the amount of radiation at San Onofre as was released at Chernobyl,” SNW coordinator Rita Conn said. “(Edison) spends millions of dollars each year distorting the truth. It’s a smoke-and-mirrors show they put on for the public while they cut costs to increase their profits.”

SNW is currently trying to secure funding and establish itself as a nonprofit. Let Laguna Vote, a separate nonprofit, is its acting nonprofit and receiving donations on behalf of SNW.

“This is so serious for the people of Southern California that we really need to be able to have a professional organization,” Conn said. “It can no longer just be a handful of activists. If we’re going to get action to get (the spent nuclear fuel) moved, and it can be done, the people have to unite.”

Participating in with SNW are attorneys Mike Aguirre, who is currently suing the California Coastal Commission for giving the permit for Edison to store fuel on-site, as well as his legal partner Maria Severson.

Aguirre alleges the CCC did not hold proper public hearings for the permit and that Edison should not be storing the spent nuclear fuel right next to the shoreline. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Citizens Oversight in November.

SCE officials have said at past meetings that they don’t want the spent fuel located at the plant anymore than the advocacy groups do, but until the Department of Energy is able to authorize the transfer of the spent fuel, Edison is still responsible for the cost and procedure of storing the fuel, as the plant is in the beginning phases of being demolished.

Currently, bills in the U.S. Congress and Senate are being discussed to amend the policy act to allow for interim storage until the Department of Energy can figure out what to do with it. H.R. 4745, an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, would allow the Secretary of Energy to enter into contracts with licensed facilities for temporary storage of spent nuclear energy.

If the bills pass, the fuel could start to be removed by as soon as 2021 and be completely removed by 2030, but those dates would depend on how quickly or if the bills pass.

Edison is licensed to begin storing fuel in the Holtec canisters beginning in 2017.

Conn said the group has gathered more than 2,000 signatures for petitions sent to federal, state, county and local agencies to urge the removal of the waste and store it at permanent facilities in Texas and New Mexico.

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Pam Patterson, who is part of the CEP as mayor of a local government, said the panel has misled the public on matters of security regarding terrorism threats.

Patterson said security should have the ability to shoot down airplanes that violate a fly zone of SONGS. She cited information she gathered from Department of Defense and other sources regarding terrorist organizations having gathered at American nuclear power plants.

“The management is as scary as the situation that they’ve created there,” Patterson said.

Dr. William Honigman spoke during the meeting about the necessary facilities needed to treat people in case of radiation exposure are not available in the immediate area. Honigman said in the event of disaster, Southern California would not be able to treat the millions of people who live within 50 miles of SONGS.

Robert Pope, a geologist and environmental scientist, quoted recent studies regarding the San Andreas Fault lines being in danger of producing an earthquake of up to magnitude 8.0, which could cripple the “fragile” bluffs on which SONGS sits.

Information about the organization Secure Nuclear Waste can be found at www.securenuclearwaste.com.

The next Community Engagement Panel meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on June 22 at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino Del Avion.

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comments (27)

  • I see the same old liars still continuing in their attempts to hoodwink the public. There is Rita Conn who lied about getting on site at San Onofre and I also see Roger “truck bomb” Johnson who is a conspiracy theorist’s theorist, a regular gatling gun of anti-nuclear hokum. These crack pots cannot be trusted with any information as they have demonstrated repeatedly that they will lie, make false statements, or point to reports or studies that invariably don’t say what they claim. Reader beware of their duplicity and should any need a list of their false statements, I’d be happy to list them…AGAIN!

    • David Davidson has a history of reacting with a colorful palette of insults and personal vehemence at the slightest mention on the topic of nuclear safety. Davidson makes it personal.
      For the record, he has not a great deal of valid information to offer in rebuttal.
      What is the usual from Mr. Davidson’s end is what he finds when “real” is removed from “rebuttal”.
      That middle ground makes no good point and offends.

      • @ Ron Rodarte

        “Davidson makes it personal.”

        It is personal to those 1200 people who lost their jobs some of whom haven’t been able to find work because of age discrimination. How would YOU feel if because of the lies and false statements of others, you and your friends lost your jobs? And for those former workers at San Onofre who have found work elsewhere, how do you think their kids like moving away from their friends, going to school where they know no one and indeed may be in foreign countries like the United Arab Emirates (where many have gone)?

        “For the record, he has not a great deal of valid information to offer in rebuttal.”

        And how would YOU know, you don’t know anything? And if what you’re claiming is true, then why has your leader, Donna Gilmore, removed some of the bogus material from her website at my request? Why was my input needed to correct the mislabeled refueling pool, provide the correct numbers for burn up of spent fuel assemblies, point out the video on her website claiming SONGs ran with its emergency batteries disconnected for four years was a lie, that discussions on her site claiming Pressurized Water Reactors do not have reactor vessel level indication was totally false (I showed her the actual procedure for operating the system), or that the video claiming science fiction level mutations had occurred as a result of TMI was pure hokum?

        “…makes no good point and offends.”

        It is meant to be offensive to those who engage in duplicity and endlessly repeat lies. If those in the anti-nuke zealot camp don’t like it, stop making false statements and ignoring evidence that conflicts with your narrative. Is there no one in your camp with a scintilla of integrity?

        • Whoa David,
          Let’s be honest. You know Edison screwed up the redesign of the steam generators. Their billion dollar boondoggle is what ultimately shut the plant down. The activists just made sure everyone knew about it and put pressure for a real investigation. Edison wanted to restart Unit 2 without fixing the design flaws. These four generators showed decades of wear in less than one year of operation.

          Now Edison has picked the worst possible storage containers for the waste still sitting in the pools. Even Entergy won’t use that experimental unproven below ground system. Did you know there are no drains in that system? Anything that goes through the air vents in the lid will sit at the bottom, accelerating the corrosion of the thin stainless steel. And that soggy ground will accelerate the failure of the concrete infrastructure. Did you know Holtec is only warranty that for 10 years?

          Why don’t you acknowledge that the existing thin steel canisters may already be cracking, but no one can even inspect them? Why don’t you acknowledge that even the Holtec President says even if you could find a crack, even a microscopic crack will release millions of curies of radiation into the environment and that it’s not feasible to repair them? And that Edison has no plan in place to deal with a leaking canister. How can you even get close to one of them, if they are leaking radiation out of the air vents?

          If you’re concerned about job losses, you should be concerned about a permanent evacuation of a large part of Southern California when those canisters start leaking and potentially explode when air reaches the high burnup fuel.

          I know it’s stressful to be faced with job loss, but we’re more concerned about losing a lot more. Every error I’ve found on the SanOnofreSafety.org website has been corrected. Now it’s time for you to tell the truth about the rest of it.

          • @ Donna

            Your statement: “Let’s be honest.”

            Well thus far, that has been a tall order for you. Edison did NOT design or build the steam generators, MHI did. However, like the captain of a ship, it was Edison’s responsibility to ensure they received a quality product…they did not. When criticized by the NRC for this failure, SCE took responsibility and acknowledged their failure in this regard. It would be nice if you and your followers would take responsibility for your false statements and acknowledge you (collectively) deliberately lied about San Onofre’s emergency batteries but as far as I am aware, you have not.

            Your personal statement: “Edison wanted to restart Unit 2 without fixing the design flaws.”

            Repeating a false statement over and over is tantamount to lying and the Unit 2 generators DID NOT show decades worth of wear, you’re deliberately confusing problems in the Unit 3 generators with Unit 2, this is dishonest. POTENTIAL problems in Unit 2 were, contrary to your false statement, fixed when all tubes in the areas where Unit 3 had problems, were staked and plugged (so that they couldn’t leak even if a breach occurred). As a further conservative measure, SCE decided they would limit plant power to 70% for the summer, shut down, inspect the tubes and proceed based on these findings. The NRC, who was carefully monitoring the situation, was happy with this solution and green lighted the startup. Had your statement been true, they would not have given SCE this approval, but again, your claim is false.

            Unfortunately, the politics of Barbara Boxer thrust its ugly head into the mix and she got the ASLB to overrule the NRC, NOT based on safety or any generator integrity issues, but on the farcical notion that SCE required a license amendment to limit power to 70%, a process that could take as much as a year. Unable to prevail on the technical merits of their claims, the anti-nukes turned to politics, not engineering.

            Your statement: “Even Entergy won’t use that experimental unproven below ground system.”

            This is simply a lie. First, it is NOT experimental, Humbolt Bay has had the underground system for years and the system is approved by the NRC, something the casks you prefer DO NOT HAVE. Second, it is another lie to claim Entergy won’t use this system, they have simply chosen a cheaper option by the same manufacturer. In addition, in a previous statement, YOU said Entergy claimed the system Edison chose was “unproven and too complicated and too expensive” statements they never made, at least in the document you provided as a reference.

            This is what Entergy actually said in the reference YOU provided: “It is my understanding that San Onofre selected an underground system based on site-specific conditions that are not applicable to the VY Station, such as site space limitations and tsunami protection, as well as commercial considerations.” This is just another example of why YOUR summaries, conclusions, and statements cannot be trusted, you have a habit of not being truthful with the information.

            What is particularly distasteful about this example is that you and your followers have been providing a steady drum beat that Edison was buying cheap canisters because they wanted more profit for themselves. Suddenly, when Entergy says they are not buying the more expensive underground system Edison has chosen, the anti-nukes, who’ve all along pushed for an even more expensive and ill suited system, have become cost conscience. Perhaps the local anti-nukes up at VY are castigating Entergy for choosing a cheaper system when they could be buying the robust system Edison is. The only thing consistent with you and your anti-nuke pals is that whatever policy or decision is made, it must be to the detriment of the nuclear industry. It is dishonest to not be upfront with the public on this philosophy and indeed to hide and work within the smoke screen of safety.

            Your claim: “Now Edison has picked the worst possible storage containers…” Your opinion is noted and noted also is the fact that you insist on attempting to pass your opinion off as fact. The NRC, SCE, independent investigator and chairman of the CEP, David Victor, and the entire US nuclear industry, disagree with your opinion, an opinion of a layman with no formal education in the fields relevant to making an accurate assessment of these issues. Why should, why would, a member of the public take the opinion of an activist over the professional judgement of those specifically trained to make these assessments?

            Regarding Dr. Singh’s statement, you continue to engage in deliberate deception because you fail to report what Dr. Singh’s point was. He said (at about the 45 second mark) “you can EASILY easily isolate that canister” words you choose to ignore and not report on. His company prefers to simply place one canister inside another should a theoretical crack occur vice repairing the canister. Either option provides a solution, solutions you pretend don’t exist. You also conveniently ignore his statement about how unlikely an event of this nature is (it has thus far NEVER occurred) and exaggerate, indeed it’s hyperbole, the effects if it does; another Fukushima as you claimed, really? From one canister?

            Your statement: “…and potentially explode when air reaches the high burnup fuel.” More hyperbole on your part for as has already been pointed out to you, indeed it was in the study YOU referenced, when a canister was pumped full of air (as this phenomenon was not well understood 35 years ago), not slowly leaked in over a period of weeks or months, it only resulted in further fuel damage, not the explosion you keep trying to frighten the public with.

            In an earlier post you said: “Watch NRC Director Mark Lombard state “inspection is not a now thing”…”

            Instead of the address for the video clip, you direct the readers to your one-sided website where presumably, the Mark Lombard clip could eventually be found. Here is the direct address, I encourage everyone to listen to what he says and decide for yourself if Donna is fairly characterizing it:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtFs9u5Z2CA&feature=youtu.be

            Let’s be honest Donna, does Lombard appear skeptical of a positive solution to this long term problem? The message you are attempting to convey is not accurate so how would the public ever know if they simply took your word for it? Lombard says “They’ve come a long way in the last year in a half…they are not quite there yet but they are VERY VERY close…the robotics have improved over the last six months even…”

            Your statement: “Every error I’ve found on the SanOnofreSafety.org website has been corrected.”

            What horse manure! You haven’t looked for any errors, indeed you make them. As far as I am aware, the only things you remove are what “others”, who do not share your activist views, have embarrassed you with. You, collectively, have never apologized for the deliberate lies regarding San Onofre’s emergency batteries and as has been amply demonstrated in the examples I cite above, you continue in your attempts to hoodwink the public. Yours is a well worn path of dishonesty, deception, and disinformation, not the behavior of an honest citizen simply desiring assurance of his or her safety. Should your children or grandchildren ever ask you if you had been straight with the people on this issue, yours will be a difficult and uncomfortable response.

  • David Davidson is an industry she’ll. I have attended many meetings wherehe’s gotten up and provide information that was totally false.
    David Davis it is a relevant!

    • @ Joe

      Joe, you are as confused about me as you are about nuclear power. For the record, I’ve attended exactly ONE meeting since the shutdown of SONGs, the very first CEP, and if you can provide any examples of where I made any claim that was false, be my guest. However, I’ve provided numerous examples of where your anti-nuke pals have made false statements, provided false information, or engaged in hyperbole. Would you like me to go over the list again?

  • Substatiated facts regarding the canisters are at SanOnofreSafety.org Most on the home page. Regarding transport, it’s more likely one or more of the existing “Chernobyl” canisters will leak radiation into the environment before the canisters can be moved. Edison has no approved plan to deal with this. If they tell you they do, ask to see the NRC approved plan (which doesn’t exist).

    Edison only wants the waste moved if they are not liable for transport and storage. They want to rush the spent fuel assemblies into thin canisters that they know can crack and leak in the short-term and will need decades to cool before they meet Dept of Transportation regulations for radiation levels. This will save them money. David Davison and others will lose their job once the pools are emptied of fuel assemblies. Edison plans to load canisters hotter, which requires even more decades to store on site before they can be moved. Also, canisters with even partial cracks cannot be moved per NRC safety regulations. Edison must be forced to buy thick metal casks (10″ to almost 20″ thick) that do not crack or have the other problems of the thin canisters. That is what most other countries use.

    The New Mexico governor wrote a letter to the DOE stating she is OK with the local community that has expressed interest in storing the canisters. However, she put in the letter that she was told the canisters will be safe, which is not true. Also, there are many citizens in New Mexico and Texas that do not want to be California’s nuclear waste dump, so expect lawsuits. In the meantime, we better make sure we have the safest storage casks currently available. Instead, Edison is choosing the worst.

    • Canister vs. Cast Iron Cask based systems:

      Reprocessing spent fuel is where the spent fuel assemblies are removed from the canister or cask and put through a chemical process to extract the useable fuel in order to reuse it. To facilitate the removal of this fuel, casks were developed with bolted heads which could be opened for easy fuel retrieval. When in 1977 Jimmy Carter outlawed reprocessing in the US, a bolted head was not only not necessary, but undesirable because a double welded head is superior to a bolted one in terms of sealing ability.

      Donna has given her followers the impression that the monitoring system on bolted heads is an advantage over welds but this system is required precisely because bolted sealing is inferior to welds, ie., more susceptible to leaking. In addition, whether intentional or not, Donna gives the impression that this system monitors the contents of the cask, it does NOT; it only monitors the integrity of the seals and is wholly unnecessary when using welds. It is a symptom of the basic disadvantage of the cask system vis a vis the canister in regards to permanently sealing the vessel which is the goal being sought here. Note, if an internal seal fails on a bolted cask, it cannot be repaired without removing the fuel.

      Because other nations continued reprocessing, they needed bolted, as opposed to welded heads since any welds would have to be cut to remove the fuel. Now that most of these nations have decided the cost of reprocessing outweighs the benefits, they are moving AWAY FROM the cask system Donna prefers TO the very canister system Donna disparages.

      When Donna says “That is what most other countries use” know that Holtec has produced canisters for Spain, and Britain, Mexico, the Ukraine, and South Africa have all recently taken orders from them. Taiwan has ordered a canister based system from NAC, and Slovenia may soon decide between Areva and Holtec. The Holtec and Areva (NAC also) designs SCE and the rest of the US nuclear industry use are approved for storage and transport, the casks Donna prefers are not. If she says they are, ask her to produce the documentation, there isn’t any. Furthermore, when a license to ship fuel in these casks was applied for, the NRC refused to issue one fearing the cast iron casks Donna prefers would shatter if dropped in cold weather; stainless steel canisters have no such problem.

      So when Donna suggests the rest of the world is using the cast iron casks, she is being grossly misleading. Ask her to list the number of new bolted lid cask projects particularly for countries who no longer reprocess fuel and then ask her why she insists on giving this false impression.

      She has never addressed the fact that the cast iron casks she prefers are too heavy for SONGs beyond denying, without support or evidence of any kind, that this is a problem. All the wishing and good intentions in the world will not make the casks any lighter.

      Donna undermines the little credibility she has when she describes the “state of the art” canisters Holtec will provide as “Chernobyl” canisters. The NRC, who has the job and responsibility to ensure safe canisters are used, has issued a license for storage and transport for them, a license the casks Donna prefers DO NOT HAVE and again for transport, was denied.

      Ask Donna how many of these “Chernobyl” canisters have leaked, and ask her to justify her claim that should a canister leak, an accident worse than Fukushima could happen. Independent investigator and chairman of the CEP, David Victor, after reviewing all the literature on this subject, had this to say:

      “Based on an extensive review and re-review of all the evidence I don’t see any support for these rapid corrosion, cracking and through wall penetration scenarios. Moreover, I note that EPRI has recently released a report that examines exactly this scenario. That report looks at the scenario that would unfold after conditions for cracking had been established and after a crack had initiated. How long would it take for a crack, then, to travel through the walls if the crack were not detected and stopped? EPRI’s answer is about 80 years.”

      This is in agreement with a clip Donna posted elsewhere where in answer to her question, the representative stated that AFTER the initiation of a crack (it takes years for crack initiation), it would take 86 years as a “most conservative” estimate to go through wall. Begin at 29:15 for the relevant portion of this discussion. http://youtu.be/ZpT_fHNnfc0

      Furthermore, David Victor says:

      “Results from an actual cask that has been allowed to leak slowly for 2 years show, as well, that intrusion of water and the formation of hydrogen gas can’t reach explosive levels (section 4.4.3, page 4-25). I learned two things from this work. First, there is simply zero basis for the highly emotive statements that I have seen in the press and various other locations for the view that long-term storage of the fuel on site at SONGS has put “another Fukushima” or “another Chernobyl” in our backyard. We do the public a disservice with such emotive language since it creates images that are not in any way rooted in the technical assessment of the real risks.”

      His comments, of course, are directed at Donna and her followers.

      Lastly, and again contrary to Donna’s suggestion, the NRC, SCE, the nuclear industry and EPRI are working vigorously for a solution to the difficulties of inspecting canisters and likely will have this solution within a year. Also, SONGs has had an empty canister (with no heat source inside so any observations will be conservative) sitting by the seawall available for a comparison inspection.

      All this is to say that Donna, or any statements her followers make, cannot be trusted at ANY level and have indeed been shown to be false again and again. Reader beware.

  • Dear concerned citizens. Dave is right on his facts. Working as a nuclear operator is a job that requires hard study and scientific understanding. SONGS is a different threat now that we are shut down. We are not a bomb, not a threat beyond our site. A fifty mile danger zone is not credible. Spent fuel dry casks did not get disturbed in the Japanese disaster, nor did workers get radiation sickness or did we get contaminated from Japan. SONGS is working to store the spent fuel as safely and soon as can be done. If you want to say SONGS canisters can release 89 times the amount of radiation as some event, please express those numbers so we can quantify them. Please explain how this radiation will escape and how much. Please explain how “terrorist” are not being taken seriously and how they would cause radiation to spread”?

    • George,
      You apparently have not read the information from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or watched the videos from the NRC Director of Spent Fuel Management and the Holtec President. Go to SanOnofreSafety.org for this information.
      Regarding Fukushima, they use thick-walled metal casks (at least 10″ thick) vs 1/2″ to 5/8″ thick canister walls use in the U.S. Also, the thick walled casks can be inspected, repaired, maintained, monitored (BEFORE a radiation leak), and do not have the cracking issues of the thin canisters. This is a materials engineering issue, not a computer operator issue. One thing we should all be worried about is the lack of a plan to deal with a leaking canister. The President of Holtec said even a microscopic through-wall crack will release millions of curies of radiation into the environment. And the NRC Director said inspecting even the outside of the thin canisters “is not a now thing”. Watch the videos for yourself at SanOnofreSafety.org

      • Donna- you didn’t answer the questions and are avoiding the facts that David has laid out. If the german casks so safe and so superior, why are these casks not licensed for use in the US and not the preferred cask worldwide?
        And, while we wait for the 5-10 years to get the germans casks approved that no one in the US is using, are we to keep all of the rods in the pools and plant untouched? Why would we then rely on a a dry cask storage system that has been developed for uranium reprocessing and removable storage possibilities – when we have no need for either of those applications?

        And finally, why do you consistently maintain that Edison is using the current cask vendor to save themselves money, when you know that all of the monies being paid for this storage solution come from the ratepayers and any savings or expenses are returned to or paid by the same?

        Answer the questions, Donna, inquiring minds want to know. And, while replying, let us know how your expert qualifications on cask quality and use exceed those of Mr. Davidson and others who disagree with you.

  • As a former SONGS employee I was initially upset about the shutdown and leaving the state to find work. Although I enjoyed living in SOCAL, I must say that living in a place with no state income tax is great. Now that the same libtards that helped get the plant shut down have even more power in the state and local governments, it is only a matter of time before they truly ruin the state. For the record, I worked with Dave Davison for 9 years. He was not only one of the nicest people that I have ever encountered, he was one of the brightest and most intelligent. As for the ones that like to pat themselves on the back for shutting down the plant, enjoy your increasing electric rates. The state I live in is more than happy to sell you electricity.

    • @ Chip

      Indeed Chip, rates went up about a week after the announcement of the shutdown and we’ve already had one power outage directly as a result of San Onofre shutting down. In addition, natural gas and imported power have thus far made up the lion’s share of the power wasted when SONGs shut down. More GHGs thanks to the faux environmentalists.
      Good to hear from you and keep sending that electricity south, we’re going to need it.

  • Crickets, Donna? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • It is telling that Donna will engage low information forums ad naseum with her opinions and theories, but when confronted with scientific reality, she points to her website and refuses to answer the hard questions. And, I would love for her to point to a scientific industry expert who would back her up point by point. I guess we will all wait.

    • Bill, I refer people to SanOnofreSafety.org because the answers to these issues are all there with links to source documents. David continues to ignore all that evidence, so it’s pointless to continue to go in circles with him on every website he comments on. Regarding scientific experts. All my source information is from scientific experts.

  • I have given David the source information to counter the misinformation he is getting from Edison and others. He picks and chooses what he wants to believe. It is fruitless to go in circles with him on every website he comments on. I refer to SanOnofreSafety.org because it has the information with linked references from scientific industry experts. I’ve updated the home page recently to make sure the most critical information is covered near the top. Suggest you start with that. If you still have questions after that I will be happen to answer them. The NRC has invited me to be a presenter for 2 years in a row at the NRC’s Annual Nuclear Waste Conference. The issues I addressed have still not been resolved. The NRC now admits the thin canisters cannot be inspected. The Holtec president admits they cannot be repaired and millions of curies of radiation will be released from even a microscopic crack. Watch the videos for yourself from both of them. They are on the home page. The EPRI report claiming over 80 year life for a San Onofer canister was based on cherry picking data. They ignored their own data that a Diablo Canyon canister had all the conditions for cracking in a 2-year canister. They ignored the waste water tank at the Koeberg Nuclear plant that leaked with cracks of to 0.61″ deep — thicker than most U.S. thin canisters (0.50″ to 0.625″). They excluded conditions of on-shore winds, surf and frequent fog at San Onofre. I have a critique of that EPRI report on the Nuclear Waste page. This is the most important issue before us. If you want to live in Southern California it’s time to get real with the facts before it’s too late. Those canisters loaded since 2003 are at high risk of leaking and Edison has no plan in place to deal with leaking canisters. If they do, please share the information and provide references.

    • Donna’s statement: “David continues to ignore all that evidence…”

      Oh really? Do elaborate because addressing your (collectively) false statements, lies, and appeals to studies that don’t say or agree with your conclusions is precisely what I’ve been doing for the past three years.

      Donna’s statement: “All my source information is from scientific experts.”

      And we’ve experienced how you abuse their findings or selectively quote from them in a manner inconsistent with their message. Hence, your selective quote of Dr. Singh in a way that suggests canister cracks are unsolvable problems when he is actually stating the reverse, AND your failure to acknowledge that he also said a canister crack is “highly unlikely” (indeed, it has NEVER occurred). In addition, Dr. Singh never said a canister CANNOT be repaired, you are again mischaracterizing what he said.

      Similarly, you misquote Entergy officials (Vermont Yankee nuclear plant) creating the false narrative that they view SCE’s choice of canisters as “unproven and too complicated and too expensive” statements they never made nor suggested. Your one-sided narrative on the Mark Lombard video clip is another example, precisely why the public should be wary of YOUR statements/conclusions. I encourage the impartial to view these video clips and determine for yourselves if Donna’s characterization of them is accurate.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euaFZt0YPi4&feature=youtu.be

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtFs9u5Z2CA&feature=youtu.be

      Donna, your claim that Edison didn’t fix the issue with the Unit 2 Steam Generators is again false and one you continue to make so why should the public expect any better from your demonstrably biased website?

      Donna’s statement: “The EPRI report claiming over 80 year life for a San Onofer canister was based on cherry picking data”. Yeah, that’s what professional engineers do for a living, cherry pick data so that layman, in this case you, can exercise your extensive engineering experience (none) to correct them in their conclusions.

      In addition, your judgment on this matter presupposes these engineers either don’t know what they’re doing or are being dishonest because they’re obviously familiar with the issues you raise. Perhaps NOT being fear mongers with an anti-nuclear agenda limits their desire to exaggerate.

      Your statement in reference to me: “He picks and chooses what he wants to believe.” Yes, and I pick and choose to believe reality and truth, not hokum. When you stated that I will lose my “job once the pools are emptied of fuel assemblies”, did it ever occur to you that I would naturally like to keep my job as long as possible and that by supporting YOUR efforts to delay this fuel transfer, I’d be insuring my own continued employment? I’m no martyr but issues of integrity require me to oppose you not just because you’re wrong, but because you and your followers have engaged in deliberate deception to hoodwink the public. If there were merit to your (collectively) claims, there wouldn’t be any necessity to lie, make false statements, wild charges, and appeal to studies and videos that invariably don’t state what you claim.

      As far as a plan for dealing with a problem (canister crack) that has NEVER occurred, a plan is better than no plan, but no plan does not mean no solution. Simply sliding the canister into a transfer cask solves the problem as far as safety is concerned, a solution that doesn’t exist for the casks you prefer should the seals fail. It is the nature of a zealot to assume any issue that arises must be insurmountable. Had mankind exercised this philosophy from the beginning, we’d still be in the stone age.

  • Let’s ask the questions again:

    If the german casks so safe and so superior, why are these casks not licensed for use in the US and not the preferred cask worldwide?
    And, while we wait for the 5-10 years to get the germans casks approved that no one in the US is using, are we to keep all of the rods in the pools and plant untouched? Why would we then rely on a a dry cask storage system that has been developed for uranium reprocessing and removable storage possibilities – when we have no need for either of those applications?

    And finally, why do you consistently maintain that Edison is using the current cask vendor to save themselves money, when you know that all of the monies being paid for this storage solution come from the ratepayers and any savings or expenses are returned to or paid by the same?

    And, what does it mean, “had all the conditions for cracking” for Diablo Canyon? Is that just fancy way of saying there aren’t any cracks but according to you there should have been? Please point to a single instance in the US where the containers have failed – you dance around the issue, but never address it. SONGS has had casks since 2003 – that is 13 years of storage. Any cracks there?

    • Excellent questions Bill. In addition, Donna, as far as I can remember, has consistently avoided answering the question as to whether she has seen the documentary by former anti nukes, Pandora’s Promise. Why is that such a difficult question to answer unless the answer undermines the anti-nuclear narrative?

      Why doesn’t she address the question, beyond denying it is a problem, with the weight of the casks she prefers? They are too heavy, ie., they cannot be used.

      Why continually steer people to a website when the pertinent links, quotes, or data can be cut and pasted into a response saving the reader from wading through said website unless that is the real goal, to lull the unsuspecting into relying solely on the information Donna provides?

      Why should the public trust her judgement by relying on the unknown of NRC approval for the casks she prefers, an example of what SHE herself called “vaporware” (relying on future solutions to present problems)?

      Why does she bring up transportation regulations for radiation levels when the casks she prefers must adhere to the same regs and they have LESS shielding than the Holtec or Areva canisters when they’re placed inside the transportation cask?
      Likewise, why is Donna concerned with storage times when the casks she prefers are in the same boat, and why does she exaggerate cooling times necessary when decades only applies to the Unit 1 fuel?

      Ask her why David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists (no friend of the nuclear industry), has also endorsed Edison’s plan for storing used nuclear fuel. He, SCE, the entire US nuclear industry, the NRC, and EPRI, all in agreement on the use of the canister based system or on storage at San Onofre; on the other side is Donna, with her casks that have no license to store or ship in the US and are too heavy for SONGs .

      Since the Holtec underground system is already partially constructed and SCE WILL load fuel into Holtec canisters, will she cease pestering SCE and the industry when it is complete or will she simply manufacture new reasons to alarm and deceive the public?

    • Bill,
      I just now read your comments. Here are my responses.

      There are two major types of thick-wall casks sold commercially in the world The Areva TN series forged steel (around 10″ thick for the ones used in the U S.). The GNS Castor ductile cast iron casks manufactured by Siemplekamp. The U.S. Castor casks are 14 5″ thick. The newer model is 19.75″ thick. Thick wall casks are the oldest and best designs and are the standard everywhere except the U.S. The U.S. market chose lower cost over safety. The Nycleae regulatory Commission refuses to infirce standard of monitored retrievable fuel storage. The NRC has licensed these and has continued to license thick wall casks. However, no vendor can sell their product in the U.S. if they don’t gave a utility that eill buy them.

      The time required for a license is 18 months according to NRC Director Mark Lombard. I have this in writing from him and forwarded the email to Tom Palmisano, but Tom continues to spread misinformation that it is 5 years..

      How can you say we do not need to have inspectable containers and contents? That’s just bad engineering. Instead you prefer thin-wall canisters that can crack, cannot be inspected inside or out, and cannot be repaired, maintained or monitored to prevent leaks. You wouldn’t even but a car that doesn’t meet those basic common sense safety requirements.

      I have never said Edison bought them to save money. I said that is why most U.S. utilities use them. In Eduson’s case, they want to mive the fuel out of the poils as soon as posdible. Holtec oromised the shorted cooling period of all three thin-canister vendors. Even David Davidsin said Edison wants to shut diwn the pools, si they can get rid of him and the others. The pools are an expensive maintenance item.

      Regarding Diablo Canyon, what part of THEY DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO FIND CRACKS IN THIN-WALL CANISTERS do you not understand? All we know is that they have all the conditions for cracks to happen.

      How do you know they don’t have cracks? It will take at least 17 to 20 years before cracks can grow through the wall, so we will only know AFTER they leak. With a good engineering design we would know BEFORE they leak, not after. San Onofre canisters are now up to 14 years old, so our risks for leaks is growing and Edison has no plan to prevent or fix leaks and ni plan to replace leaking canisters. Instead they are having their vendor request a license change to assume peak radiation levels will be at the inlet air vents or door, rather than the outlet air vents. It appears Edison’s real plan is to hide the leaks.

      • @ Donna Gilmore

        Your statement, “Thick wall casks are the oldest and best designs and are the standard everywhere except the U.S.”

        That is a lie and you know it is a lie. Donna, you should stop lying and attempting to mislead the public. Here is what I said to you above when you last lied about this:

        When Donna says “That is what most other countries use” know that Holtec has produced canisters for Spain, and Britain, Mexico, the Ukraine, and South Africa have all recently taken orders from them. Taiwan has ordered a canister based system from NAC, and Slovenia may soon decide between Areva and Holtec. The Holtec and Areva (NAC also) designs SCE and the rest of the US nuclear industry use are approved for storage and transport, the casks Donna prefers are not. If she says they are, ask her to produce the documentation, there isn’t any. Furthermore, when a license to ship fuel in these casks was applied for, the NRC refused to issue one fearing the cast iron casks Donna prefers would shatter if dropped in cold weather; stainless steel canisters have no such problem.

        So when Donna suggests the rest of the world is using the cast iron casks, she is being grossly misleading. Ask her to list the number of new bolted lid cask projects particularly for countries who no longer reprocess fuel and then ask her why she insists on giving this false impression.

        Since you were already aware of the above when you made your claim that “thick walled casks are …the standard everywhere except the US” , your readers can again see that you are just a liar.

        “The time required for a license is 18 months…”

        That is an estimate and there is NO guarantee that a license will be granted. Indeed, the last time a license application was sought for the cast iron casks (for transport) YOU want SCE to use, the NRC refused citing their fear that they might shatter if dropped in cold weather. So licensing these casks in the US would be a first time event (no guarantee) and likely would take much longer even if successful. Because you are so dishonest with the information you provide to the public that I can check, I would not be surprised to learn that Lombard’s statement was one of a general nature and not specific to cast iron casks that have been rejected a license in the past.

        In addition, you still haven’t addressed the issue with the weight. Remember, the casks YOU alone (and those you’ve hoodwinked) prefer are too heavy for SONGs’ crane equipment. Do your followers know you are simply stone walling on this issue? Are they aware that YOUR preferred casks are too heavy? Do they care?

        “…cannot be inspected inside or out, and cannot be repaired, maintained or monitored to prevent leaks.”

        Again, you are such a liar! The canisters can be inspected, repaired, maintained, and monitored as you are well aware. You and the public were given a demonstration of this at the Sept. 2017 CEP. It seems that you, like your fellow liar Roger Johnson, are impervious to facts, documentation, or common sense, all hall marks of an agenda driven activist.

        “Regarding Diablo Canyon, what part of THEY DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO FIND CRACKS IN THIN-WALL CANISTERS do you not understand?”

        What part of “you are a liar” do you not understand?

        “All we know is that they have all the conditions for cracks to happen.”

        NO, that’s not “all we know”. Since the amount of “the conditions for cracks to happen” were never defined, any amount, no matter how infinitesimal, meets the current definition. No one believes this microscopic amount on the Diablo Canyon canisters poses a threat to canister cracking except activists whose opinions on the issue wouldn’t be any different even if this microscopic amount didn’t exist.

        “How do you know they don’t have cracks?”

        We can know for certainty that they do NOT have through wall cracks. Do you agree? Say it with me again, there has never been a crack in a commercial spent fuel canister in all of commercial nuclear power history.

        “It will take at least 17 to 20 years before cracks can grow through the wall…”

        Baloney! The EPRI report stated 80 years to go through wall AFTER crack initiation and it takes years before crack initiation. I know you disagree, no surprise there but I’ll take an engineering firm’s word based on actual studies before I’ll take the word of a known liar with zero engineering experience.

        “…and Edison has no plan to prevent or fix leaks…”

        More Gilmore lies. What was the Sept. 2017 CEP meeting all about? Do you pretend EPRI did not get up and discuss the inspection systems, the aging management systems?

        “It appears Edison’s real plan is to hide the leaks.”

        What utter horse manure. Your dishonesty is thoroughly repugnant.

        Do you ever plan to back up your claim that a crack in a canister will result in an accident worse than Fukushima or that these canisters represent another Chernobyl in our backyard? Will the other liar, Gary Headrick, ever acknowledge that he lied when he claimed San Onofre’s tube leak almost resulted in another Fukushima? Will your group ever apologize for lying about San Onofre’s emergency batteries?

        Again, the canisters SCE will use are licensed for storage and shipment, Donna’s casks are NOT.
        Donna’s casks were refused a license for shipment by the NRC but she has faith that a future application would be successful. She herself has described this process as vaporware, relying on that which you do not currently possess.

        Donna’s casks are too heavy such that SCE can’t use them even if everything else she said was true, which is not the case.

        Donna’s casks have mechanical seals which are inferior to the double welds used in the designs SCE will use. She claims the helium monitoring system on the cast iron casks are an advantage but they are required specifically because mechanical seals are inferior to welds. Holtec and Areva canisters are welded and thus don’t need the helium monitoring (which does NOT monitor the contents of the cask, only the area between the two mechanical seals).

        The cask system Donna prefers is appropriate for reprocessing fuel, thus the bolted head which facilitates easy fuel retrieval. Those countries that reprocess (it is illegal in the US) often use these casks for this reason. Where permanent storage is the goal, the canister based system is used. At SONGs, the goal is for permanent storage, thus a canister based system with double welds is the best choice and is indeed, the only system the US uses any more.

        The canisters that SCE will and do use are the best and most appropriate for the application they are being used for. Independent investigator and chairman of the CEP, David Victor, concurs with the decision SCE has made regarding canister usage. Other than anti-nuke activists, are there any informed and qualified persons or organizations that agree with Gilmore’s claims?

        • @ Donna Gilmore

          Your statement, “It appears Edison’s real plan is to hide the leaks.”

          So Donna, explain to your readers how after claiming a leak would result in an accident worse than Fukushima, and after referring to the Holtec canisters SCE will use as Chernobyl canisters, how Edison would hide “an accident worse than Fukushima”? Please inform your readers which lie you’re going with on this, will Edison hide leaks, or will leaks actually result in “an accident worse than Fukushima”?

          • David,
            What is the purpose of the request to assume peak radiation levels are at the inlet vents? Why would they change the technical specifications to do that.

            Edison can hide leaks if no one is measuring radiation levels. Obviously, if one of the Chernobyl disasters in a can exploded, they would not be able to hide that. They don’t think they will explode. This is the same company that used poorly designed steam generators that leaked radiation in reactor unit 3 after less than one year of operation. They were warned by their own employees it was a bad design. The reason you will lose your job is because of Edison’s mismanagement. The NRC cited Edison with mismanagement of that project. It’s unfortunate you do not see the key problems here. I know you have good intentions. I guess you’ll only believe it after a permanent evacuation is declared. Or will you continue to blame concerned citizens and others for the actions of Edison?

          • David,
            At the CEP meeting they stated they are still working on inspection capability. Why do you continue to ignore facts? How many canisters in the U.S. have been inspected for cracks? The answer is none. If you claim otherwise, include links to the proof. EPRI’s study claiming 85 years ignored the Diablo Canyon data, ignored coastal conditions, ignored the Koeberg tank leak data, and did not address any of the other conditions that can cause cracking. When I address the other issues you mention you ignore my answer, so I’m not wasting my time responding again and again. I’ve given up hope you’ll ever wake up to the truth until it’s too late. Just remember, you helped create this nuclear waste that must be contained for thousands of years. A real legacy for our children for a few years of energy. Now we’re all stuck with it.

  • I find the sense of entitlement to endanger the lives, livelihood and financial-well-being of millions of Socal Residents possessed by these pro-nuke-Pinheads and SoCal Edison to be criminal. Every last one of them should be tried, executed, all their financial assets seized to be used for security, storage and clean up of the mess THEY created.

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