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By Jim Shilander
Local anti-nuclear advocates celebrated a year without the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Saturday at the San Clemente Community Center, hearing from celebrity activist Ed Begley Jr., as well as others, as they prepare for the next public hearing on the status of Unit 2, scheduled for February 12.

Begley said he connected with San Clemente Green, the organization that hosted the event, through Rochelle Becker of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility. Begley said he’d been aware of San Onofre since using still photos he’d taken of the plant as part of a stand-up comedy act in 1975.

Actor and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr., joined San Clemente Green co-founder Gary Headrick at an event celebrating a year of San Onofre Nuclear Generating being shut down. Photo by Jim Shilander
Actor and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr., joined San Clemente Green co-founder Gary Headrick at an event celebrating a year of San Onofre Nuclear Generating being shut down. Photo by Jim Shilander

Begley noted his own experiences with conservation, which he began in earnest in 1970, and said those hoping to see the plant shut down for good had a responsibility themselves to help manage their own power usage.

“If we want to keep San Onofre closed, we have a responsibility to conserve,” Begley said.

Begley noted a number of steps that could be taken immediately to conserve power, such as the installation of energy-efficient weather stripping, and putting non-essential electronics on power strips, to allow them to be turned off all together at night.
“We have a role in this too,” Begley said. “We have to step up and conserve.”

Begley said conservation was the most affordable way for people to start to work toward saving energy, though he had also added solar panels and a wind turbine to his own home. Those options, he said, had become more affordable for the average person as well.

San Clemente Green co-founder Gary Headrick said one of the goals of the celebration was to provide momentum toward the public hearing.

“Tonight is a great opportunity to raise awareness,” Headrick said. “We’re looking forward to speaking with the NRC. We don’t want them to experiment with our lives by restarting.”

Other speakers at the event included Steve Bender, the president of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce. Bender said the there was plenty of growth in “green jobs,” in California, including retrofitting homes with environmentally-friendly materials to construction of wind turbines, solar panels and building electric vehicles. While much of that industry was based in Northern California, Bender said such industries were also growing in Southern California.

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comments (3)

  • The OC Register article on this said that around 200 attended this rally. My 9 year old daughter’s last soccer game had 200 people.

  • So what realistic alternatives have they provided to nuclear power? Solar, wind and all the other “Green” energies are just pipe dreams right now. They wouldn’t produce enough power for a small shanty in Africa. At some point everyone needs to realize that just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean that it’s not the best solution, or that it is bad. The facts are that nuclear power is the cheapest, cleanest, and safest form of electrical energy that is produced in mass quantities. France gets nearly 85% of their power from nuclear reactors, and you don’t hear a peep from their citizens about problems with it. I think that some people just NEED something to gripe about. How about instead of wasting your time, efforts, and energy whining about all sorts of things, you get up off your butt and go figure out better ways to do those things. What if Einstein, Edison, or Newton had been of this same whine about everything mindset instead of being innovators and hard workers? Sheesh people, get a life.

    • Actually just about everything you said is incorrect. The solar and wind industries are growing extremely fast and are becoming more and more affordable for individual people and businesses. Just because you do not see those forms of energy on a regular basis, does not mean that they are not growing and achieving great success. On the other hand, Nuclear Fission energy is becoming more and more outdated. It is FAR from being the cheapest way to create energy. Possibly buying electricity from a nuclear power source may be cheaper than buying form other means, but the actual creation and operation of nuclear plants in ridiculously expensive and that means a lot of government spending in order to keep these businesses operating. Furthermore, Nuclear Fission is not clean by any means. It is extremely wasteful and polluting. The by-products are extremely radio-active for thousands of years, and we still do not have a place to store these radio-active rods. Also, there have been reports after reports of leakage from nuclear plants all across the United States and almost every plant is reaching its life term of about 50 years. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has also reported several times that many Nuclear plants have either withheld information or lied about what is actually taking place at the plants. Therefore, we don’t even have solid statistics about leakage and decay of plants in the States. As far as France, well the reason why you do not hear much about people complaining about French Nuclear Power is because our news does not cover it, but a simple research on-line will show you that there are many movements in France against Nuclear Energy.
      Furthermore, the cleanest, cheapest, and safest forms of energy at this time is coal for large industries, natural gas for transportation, and solar energy for households. This combination will make the world a better place until more green energies are enhances.
      Lastly, your comment about getting up and building a new form of energy is absolutely ridiculous. You stated three of the smartest men in history (well, except maybe Edison) and told these people to be like them. These people probably cannot build new forms of energy, nor can you most likely. About 99.9999% of the human population cannot, but these people are at least out there informing others about the dangers of out current ways of life and trying to make a change. That’s a lot more than sitting behind a computer bashing other people’s ambitions with incorrect facts with a terrible attitude towards progress, as you are doing.

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