David Davison, San Clemente

In response to Gary Headrick’s fear mongering editorial (“Letter to the Editor: SONGS Dangers are Real, Not Just Rhetoric” Jan. 23), describing the spent fuel pools as “vulnerable” is nonsense unsupported by no body of analysis. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has recently stated “previous evaluations of spent fuel pool structures have determined that seismic margins are very large” and goes on to say that because of the low decay heat level after only a few months (the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been down 24 months), even beyond design basis, accidents proceed slowly enough that mitigation actions could be completed successfully. Indeed, with no operator action and no electrical power, SONGS fuel would pose no danger to the public for more than six weeks. You could build and carry pumping equipment in a Sopwith Camel from Outer Mongolia in less time.

Headrick’s suggestion that there is some sort of cabal between the NRC and the nuclear industry is again, bunk. Although the NRC has stated there is no benefit from a safety standpoint of moving fuel to dry cask storage, Headrick’s efforts are wasted because that is precisely what SONGS intends to do. The faster they can move the fuel to dry cask storage, the faster they can lay off the rest of the workers, leaving behind a small security force. Thus, Edison and the Headrick interveners are, on this issue, on the same page.

Therefore, those who desire to expedite the transfer of spent fuel out of Orange County should petition the government, for it is purely a political decision, one that the Obama administration fumbled. However, regardless of whether the fuel remains here in pools, dry cask storage, or transferred elsewhere, the spent fuel is safe.

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comments (8)

  • In response to David’s opinions stated as if they were fact I would comment that the spent fuel pools in Fukishima were also deemed safe by persons with a vested financial interest in the nuclear power industry and look what has happened and continues to happen over there. Perhaps Dave would be so kind as to jump into his “Sopwith Camel” and fly over there to assist them with there nuclear disaster even though the cargo carrying capacity of that plane would hardly allow it to carry any pumping equipment capable of stopping the thousands of gallons of radioactive waste pouring into the Pacific each and every day for the enforceable future. Then Dave goes ahead and attempts to ridicule the idea that the NRC (which is financed by the nuclear power industry) is in any way biased towards the people that make their jobs possible when in fact it makes a lot more sense than David does. Them the right-wing-wacko is un-able to control himself from a swipe at our President as if he was the one who decided 40 years ago to build and operate a nuclear waste generating plant without plans in place to deal with thousands of years of storage NOT on top of a earthquake fault-line in a heavily populated area.

  • These are not my opinions, I simply relay the findings of the best science on the issue. In the Fukushima disaster that you are obsessed with and continue to misspell, the plant suffered a 9.0 earthquake, 4th largest earthquake in recorded history and largest in Japan’s history. This earthquake did NOT damage the Spent Fuel Pools, the Tsunami did when they lost power, and hence cooling to them. As I stated in the letter you find so objectionable, because of the low decay heat, were SONGs to suffer a loss of power for any reason, operators would have at least 6 weeks to restore cooling.
    So what do you base your opinions on, the latest pamphlet by some crazed crackpot, or worse, a trained individual “with a vested financial interest” in playing the anti-nuke movement like a violin? Are you so naive to think all the “experts” for the anti-nukes really have your best interest? After all, Helen Caldicott, though anything but an expert, has been riding this horse for how long? Watch her in the pro-nuclear documentary, Pandora’s Promise, produced by former anti-nukes like yourself; she is such a charlatan.
    As far as Obama is concerned, I stated fact and if this doesn’t comport with your anti-nuke philosophy, tough T. It is a fact that he and Harry Reid defunded Yucca Mt., it is what it is but if you can demonstrate that these two characters did NOT, in fact, defund Yucca Mt., I’ll be happy to retract my statement. You do realize that if they had not defunded Yucca Mt., we might have been transferring spent fuel out of San Onofre by now. Assuming that that is one of your goals, you should be equally disgusted with them, at least on this issue. The administration was sued and now after some four years, the NRC is back in the saddle, preparing Yucca Mt. for shipments.

  • So, if you were a resident of Nevada, how would you feel about a location in your state becoming America’s nuclear waste dump? Mr Reid simply did his job watching out for the residents of the state he represents. The fact is, there is no place on the planet that wants nuclear waste stored there for the next 10,000 years and you can hardly blame them with cask manufacturers only rating them for a 100 years or less before they start leaking. Simply put, “safe, clean nuclear power was a lie sold to the American public by people like David Davidson and those criminals need to be arrested, imprisoned and their assets seized for their crimes against humanity.

    • Marc Schroeder, I for one have grown sick and tired of your tiresome fustian blovation at Mr. Davison, and his honest attempt at trying to educate the good people of our community with the truth of the nuclear industry. All you seem to be able to muster up in response is some half-witted suppusitions that you clumsily try to foist off as superior intelligence to your fellow low information ilk. You appear to be lost in your thougths, and whom cam blame you? It’s unfamiliar territory to you. Your continued caterwauling of calling nuclear power professionals “criminals” and whimpering that their assets should be seized is infantile jibberish. The homeless man I see screaming at the squirrels in Pines Park makes more sense than you.

      Thank you Dave Davison for having the guts and integrity to speak the truth to your fellow San Clementians. Suffer the fools like Herr Schroeder.. leave him to wallow in his own dirty diaper of fatuous lunacy.

  • So you are tacitly acknowledging that I spoke the truth regarding Obama and Reid’s defunding of Yucca Mt.; thank you for the clarification. As stated else where, my preference would be to build nuclear power plants that can use this spent fuel–cheap clean energy, provide jobs, and no need for Yucca Mt., or at least, less need. It is win-win all around, except for those who are philosophically opposed to nuclear power.
    As far as the residents not wanting Yucca Mt., yea, well I never heard of a vote being taken and nobody wants a windmill in their yard either–see the documentary on windmill wars which may still be on Netflix. Contrary to the pie-in-the-sky anti-nuke philosophy, electricity just doesn’t magically appear because you have good intentions. Wishing solar and wind power could make up the difference for nuclear, coal, oil, and NG, doesn’t make it happen. I am all for solar and wind and encourage its exploitation but you are gullible and naive if you think this is going to happen in the near future–I welcome it if they can. This is what led former anti-nukes, like yourself, to abandon this 1970’s fantasy and reluctantly embrace nuclear power. I’ve read more than I can stand of anti-nuclear literature, watched every anti-nuclear documentary (on Netflix) I can find and feel confident I understand the positions anti-nukes take. However, I decry the dishonesty, the misrepresentations, the duplicity, and the exaggerations I find, and wonder why, if there is merit to your philosophy, why the lies? Have you seen Pandora’s Promise?

  • The NRC will not approve a transportation container for “high burnup” nuclear waste. The protective Zirconium cladding is becoming brittle and subject to shattering. They will also not approve high burnup dry storage for more than 20 years even though this highly radioactive waste must be stored for centuries. We’re now stuck with this waste with no safe storage or transport solution in sight. Even if reprocessing was a viable option it doesn’t result in elimination of all the waste. California has a 40% surplus of power without both the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors. And Edison even blocked the federal government from connecting solar to the electric grid. There are technical reasons for stopping Yucca mountain, but it took political power to stop it. Yucca isn’t even designed to hold the much hotter nuclear waste stored at San Onofre. No place is. Yet the NRC continues to allow plants such as Diablo Canyon to produce it. Get documented facts at SanOnofreSafety.org.

  • This from the NRC website: “Operating experience since dry storage began in 1986 and short-term tests show both low and high burnup spent fuel can be stored and transported safely.” And this: “There is enough data on high burnup fuel that the NRC has been able to certify some high burnup spent fuel storage casks for an initial term of 20 or 40 years. Some systems have also been approved for transporting high burnup spent fuel.”
    Yes, reprocessing would not result in the elimination of all waste, but it would eliminate a significant portion, and isn’t that what you want? As for viability, it is already done in several other countries; here, it is only a political decision.
    What is the source of your figure of a 40% surplus of power in CA? Here from the US Energy Information Administration: “Dear Inquirer:

    Thank you for your inquiry to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) concerning sources of electricity in California (CA).

    About 70% of the electricity consumed in CA is generated in CA, on an annual basis.”

    Also, I’ve a number of former co-workers who work in the power distribution network and when I mentioned this 40% surplus figure, because this is not the first time your group has used this figure, while their words cannot be repeated as it involves some rather salty language, suffice it to say they are in strong disagreement–these are the guys who move the power around and are in a position to know.
    Edison blocked the Feds from connecting solar to the grid? You do know Edison operated the first solar plant in CA; it was called Solar 1. Other Solar, called SEGS, are a system of 9 solar power plants built in the 1980s and operating in the Mojave–how did they get this past SCE if what you say is true? There are more solar plants coming on line soon.
    Where do you get your information claiming Yucca Mt. was not “designed to hold the much hotter nuclear waste stored at San Onofre?” If it wasn’t designed for this, then what is the point of Yucca Mt. because the nuclear industry has been burning fuel longer for as long as Yucca Mt. has been the designated facility? And, what is the point? Your partners hysterically call for the immediate removal of spent fuel from San Onofre and out of the other side of the mouth you’re claiming the designated site is unacceptable. The only way to reconcile these conflicting positions is to expose the real agenda here. The spent fuel is only a smoke screen, you folks don’t really care–it is Diablo Canyon you are after. Hence, the hysterical claims that spent fuel is dangerous where it is, and there is no where we could possibly ship it, so we better not produce any more. Tell me I’m wrong.

  • You’re right, Dave. Enviro-weenies like Schroeder and Headrick are pathetic liars, obfuscating their real intentions by making up scenarios that don’t or even can’t exist to blur the sheeple of their real goal.

    We’re on to you, Headrick.. you should have just remained the inert trust-fund cypher that you were for so long.. at least you did that well.

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