By Eric Heinz

Aerial photographer John Quigley and members of the Acjachemen Nation will join together on Saturday, June 9 at Trail 6, just south of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) to take a photo that will depict one of the native people’s symbols, a “star man,” using people to outline the figure, Quigley said.

Quigley, who goes by the art tag “Spectral Q,” has taken photos all over the world, drawing attention to the earth’s resources and protected environments. He once took a photo in the Arctic Ocean of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man where the outline of the man could be seen over portions of melting ice. He’s also done work in Paris (pictured) in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Artist John Quigley is known for his aerial photos that bring attention to the Earth’s most pressing environmental issues. Pictured, he orchestrated people to make this form in Paris. Photo: Courtesy of John Quigley
Artist John Quigley is known for his aerial photos that bring attention to the Earth’s most pressing environmental issues. Pictured, he orchestrated people to make this form in Paris. Photo: Courtesy of John Quigley

“We’re going to have hundreds of people, mostly from the Acjachemen Nation, and it’s an honoring of their ancestors,” Quigley said. “They’re going to lay down some wisdom for what they see as the best future for this region from SONGS and San Clemente, what they want from political leaders. I’ll be creating that (image) large-scale with people, and we’ll photograph from the bluffs.”

The event is meant to bring awareness to the natural resources in the surrounding area and the concerns the Acjachemen have regarding the area.

Around Trail 6 and SONGS, many leaders have worked with and demanded that the Department of the Navy return the land at San Mateo Campground and nearby areas to the native people, as it was once the fertile crescent of the Acjachemen and many artifacts have been found there. They also have concerns regarding environmental impacts.

“I know they have great concerns about the way in which the (nuclear) waste is being stored (at SONGS), and I’m sure they’ll make statements about that,” Quigley said.

Portions of the area that’s owned by the Navy were leased to the California State Parks for 40 years, but that agreement ends in 2021, with negotiations ongoing to renew.

The event takes place from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Trail 6, and anyone can attend. More information can be found by clicking here and here. Parking within the state park is $15. People are asked to bring rattles, two wood sticks or “clappersticks,” a water bottle, sack lunch and sunscreen. People are asked not to bring signs or drums.

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comments (3)

  • The nuclear waste is going nowhere. No one wants it and why would they? It will be here for decades or longer. While it’s here our first priority needs to be to store it in thick-wall casks that don’t crack, that can be inspected (inside and out), repaired, maintained and monitored to PREVENT radioactive releases and explosions. Instead, Southern California Edison is doing the opposite and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows this. Even worse, Edison admits they have no system in place to prevent or stop radioactive releases or explosions. Each thin-wall can holds roughly a 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Some of these San Onofre “Chernobyl” cans were loaded as early as 2003. The NRC states once a crack starts, it can grow through the wall in 16 years. Since Edison has not and cannot inspect for cracks or depth of cracks, we will only know after they explode.

    When a San Onofre nuclear reactor steam generator leaked radiation into the environment, Edison did not tell the public for 17 days that the leak went into the environment.

    Now Edison wants their nuckear waste dry storage license changed so they do not have to measure or report radioactive releases from the exhaust (outlet) air vents of the canister storage overpacks. This is where the highest radioactive readings would be with a through wall crack in a canister. Learn more and find source links at

  • SCE is using state of the art canisters for storage, the kind used throughout the US and around the world.

    Your statement, “The NRC states once a crack starts, it can grow through the wall in 16 years.”

    Donna, you know this is false, and we all know what it means when you make knowingly false statements. Your 16 year non-sense has been debunked as you are well aware. See the following:

    “The Koeberg RWST operates near ambient temperature and pressure and is reported to be fabricated of 304L (A12).  The Tank is comprised of five different thicknesses of welded plates with the history of leakage shown in Table A-35 below.”

    The above is quoted from a 3/17 EPRI report. The table it refers to can be found at the link above on page 23.
    In Table A-35 of the EPRI study (or Table 3, at the above link), found on page A-51, we discover that ONLY the 5 mm plate experienced through-wall leakage in 16 years.  As of 2016, ie., 32 years after going into service, there has been no through-wall leakage in even the 13 mm section.  SONG’s canisters are 16mm.  Keep in mind that the canisters are made of 316L stainless steel (SS) which is of better quality (more corrosion resistant) than the 304L found at Koeberg. 

    In addition, according to this report, Koeberg’s RWSTs do not have a heat source (important in preventing this corrosion) and have no air flow past them as the canisters do.  The latter is important in reducing the deposition of salts.

    Furthermore, the industry has a great amount of experience with SS in marine environments having literally miles of pipes that have NOT experienced CISCC corrosion. The handful of examples where corrosion has occurred do NOT outweigh the vast quantity of SS that has not experienced corrosion particularly since those examples were in inferior stainless steels, penetrated shallower depths and had no heat source to inhibit corrosion.

    When Donna claims the NRC says canisters can leak in 16 years, she is lying. It is dishonest to cling to debunked reports simply because doing so undermines your narrative.

    Independent investigator and chairman of the CEP, Dr. David Victor, wrote a report where he discussed the issue of canister longevity. He said:

    “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 the clip Donna posted elsewhere where in answer to her question, the NRC 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.

    On page 21 of the MPR study linked at the top of this post, we find that the designed life of these canisters is 60 years and that designed life is “based on the canister being exposed to the assumed worst case environmental conditions and represents the shortest expected canister lifetime.” Service life is listed as 100 years.

    So, contrary to Donna’s dishonest claims, the NRC actually told her that once a crack begins (it takes years to begin if it occurs at all), it would take 86 years as a “most conservative” estimate to go through-wall. View the NRC telling Donna this in the Youtube clip above.

    2nd, independent investigator and chairman of the CEP, David Victor, categorically stated in his report that after reviewing EPRI documentation, AFTER crack initiation, it would take about 80 years to go through-wall.

    In the MPR study found in the link at the top of this post, they conclude these canisters will last 100 years and that the new Holtec design, because they were laser peened to reduce the stress associated with CISCC, will likely NEVER undergo CISCC corrosion.

    The manufactures of these canisters state that under the “worst case environmental conditions”, they will last 60 years.

    The NRC, EPRI, MPR & Associates (who performed the MPR White paper), and the manufacturers of the canisters all have expertise in stainless steels and corrosion mechanisms. Engineer, Dr. David Victor, reviewed the literature and concurs with their findings. Then we have Donna Gilmore, with no formal training (that I am aware of) in the relevant disciplines necessary for an accurate assessment of canister longevity, claiming, based on a debunked report (the Koeberg Tank), that the canisters can fail in as little as 16 years.

    The unbiased can make up their own mind on who has the credibility and the educational gravitas to best inform the public on these issues. It is an easy choice.

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