By Eric Heinz

The incident that took place Aug. 3 at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) with a canister that was almost dropped prompted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to conduct a special investigation at the nuclear power plant.

What had Councilmember Steve Swartz concerned was that it wasn’t reported directly to cities in the immediate radiation evacuation zones nor was it brought up during the latest Community Engagement Panel Meeting (CEP) until a whistleblower told the panel what had happened on Aug. 9, said Swartz, who is the city’s liaison to the CEP, which is a quarterly panel that provides information on SONGS; it is not a policy-making body.

“It’s the lack of notification and response to the incident, and that we haven’t given consent to the fact that we’re hosting…a nuclear storage site and that we want to see some compensation in preparation coming to the city to assist us with potential disasters, and this ties into the demand for there to be 24-7 monitoring that’s available for the public to view,” Swartz said.

The NRC is scheduled to start its inspection on Sept. 10 and a report will be out weeks later following the visit. Councilmember Lori Donchak suggested sending two people from the City Council to join the NRC in their visit.

Swartz said above all, the city needs to know what kind of dangers it could face should an incident damage a canister.

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comments (9)

  • Each canister contains roughly a Chernobyl nuclear disaster. When these thin-wall Chernobyl cans are breached from cracking caused by moist salt air or from scratches, they can leak and explode. Once a crack starts the NRC says it can grow through the wall in only 16 years. Some San Onofre cans are already 15 years old. New Holtec cans are likely scratched from the metal canister guide rings as multiple attempts are made to get the canister straight in the storage hole.

    Edison uses higher burnup fuels that genetate hydrides. When combined with air, the can explode. Most of the fuel rods are made from Zirconium. Zirconium powder is used to make fireworks ignite. The uranium fuel pellets are also subject to explosions. The Zirconium rods and uranium pellets are damaged from the higher burnup fuels used by San Onofre.

    Edison has no plan in place to prevent leaks and explosions or to stop the radiation from leaking out into the environment. The NRC knows this, but is a captured government agency, so don’t count on them to do the right thing. We’re on our own here. Glad to see Steve and Lori advocating for our safety. However, no amount of money to the city will prevent permanent evacuations. Edison must store fuel in thick-wall transportable casks that can be monitored and maintained (inside and out) in order to PREVENT leaks and explosions. If we don’t get this right, nothing else matters. Instead, Edison plan to hide radiation leaks. Their Areva vender has a request into the NRC right now for this. It’s also a request that allows destroying the spent fuel pools, which is the only on-site approved method to unload defective canisters. Edison also needs a hot cell if it is shown that the super hot fuel cannot be returned to the pools, as Tom Palmisano (Edison Chief Nuclear Officer) said in a CEP meeting. Video and more information and sources at SanOnofreSafety.org.

  • Donna is such a liar and still straining to hoodwink the public on the status of fuel at San Onofre.  Contrary to her horse manure claims, fuel cannot “explode” and when she states the NRC says a crack “can grow through the wall in only 16 years” she is again lying. Her claim is in direct conflict with the statement the NRC gave her in response to her own question and you can see and hear her question and the NRC’s response to her right here, begin at 29:15: 

    http://youtu.be/ZpT_fHNnfc0 

    In this clip, 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.  So 86 years is a long way from Donna’s 16 years…she is a liar.   

    Donna’s statements to this effect were based on faulty information from a South African plant, information that has been corrected, that she is well aware of, yet continues to ignore in favor of her alarmist agenda. 
     
    Donna states, without any evidence or support whatsoever that “ New Holtec cans are likely scratched from the metal canister guide rings…”.  She also claims,
     
    “Edison has no plan in place to prevent leaks and explosions or to stop the radiation from leaking out into the environment. The NRC knows this, but is a captured government agency…” 
     
    Unless we’re speaking of bovine ordure, does this claim even pass the smell test?  See the following video presented to the CEP on the very thing she claims Edison and the NRC are ignoring: 
     
    http://f1.media.brightcove.com/8/979328848001/979328848001_5576797252001_5576790743001.mp4?pubId=979328848001&videoId=5576790743001
     
    In the video, they’re inspecting canisters which she claims can’t be done. This inspection process is to detect any corrosion and if so, mitigate said corrosion BEFORE it develops into a crack. This aspect of the aging management program was also described to HER on the first video I posted above and is just one of the efforts used to do exactly what Donna claims SCE and the NRC are ignoring and that are part of the very “plan” she claims doesn’t exist.  

    In addition, because the canisters have been peened, MPC, an independent engineering firm, states that corrosion (CISCC ) is likely to never happen on these canisters and that they are likely to last more than 100 years.
     
    Consider this next statement of hers,

    “Edison plan to hide radiation leaks. Their Areva vender has a request into the NRC right now for this.” 
     
    Does anybody believe such a statement?  Is Edison actually planning to hide radiation leaks and is their vendor actually requesting the NRC support them in this dishonesty, really?  What hogwash. 
     
    Folks, that is the beauty of being an activist free from any responsibility to tell the truth or under any threat of repercussions, legal, job-related, or otherwise.  Untethered from the truth, Donna can make up anything she wants in her efforts to frighten the public, and indeed she does.  

  • Schwartz’s comments imply that the minor event in question had the potential to cause a significant release which would require evacuation, which is known to be false. And then its followed by a request for money, even though the spent fuel storage doesn’t create any financial burdens on the city. No emergency response or evacuation planning expenses are necessary either, as there is no credible event with dry fuel storage canisters that could ever require one (i.e., inflict any significant harm on the public outside the plant site.

    And finally we have Donna Gilmore, who has no scientific background or background in the field, but is being quoted in (other) news articles for some reason. In her comment above, she shows that she apparently doesn’t understand the difference between solid hydride compounds bound within zirconium metal and hydrogen gas. That the zirconium metal could cause fires or explosions in a dray (drained) canister is a blatant lie. So is the statement about permanent evacuations. Newspapers need to limit their contributors (to their articles) to credible sources.

    • James Hopf,
      Zirconium and uranium hydrides, created from high burnup of nuclear fuel, when combined with air will create gases that explode. And zirconium and uranium oxides are created from high burnup fuel. Zirconium oxide ignites at 270 degrees Celsius. Uranium is also very pyrophoric. An inert gas is used inside canisters instead of oxygen, so this doesn’t hapoen and to reduce fuel damage. With through-wall cracks, oxygen can enter canister. Also, 5% air in helium with zirconium in fine powder form will ignite.

      Most pro nuclear publications and the NRC ignore these facts and ignore operating data from over 4,400 fuel rods at various burnup levels where oxide levels increase as burnup levels increase.

      References to scientific sources provided at SanOnofreSafety.org.

      Where are your scientific sources?

  • Evidence of Gilmore’s lies right here in the video that didn’t work in my first post:

  • David,
    Regarding explosion risks, see my comments to James Hopf for how this spent nuclear fuel waste can explode. There are many scientific references for this at https://sanonofresafety.org/nuclear-waste/
    Here is a short handout with many of those references.
    https://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/highburnupfuelshortfactsheet2018-03-15.pdf

    Regarding cracking in 16 years, that NRC person was making claims of what they could possibly do in the future, but is not reality of what is being done now or can be done. The reference to 16 years cracking after a canister starts cracking is in this NRC 8/5/2014 meeting summary on stress corrosion cracking from coastal environments (chloride induced stress corrosion cracking).. I know I have sent you this before, but you ignore evidence that doesn’t fit what you want to believe is true. http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1425/ML14258A081.pdf
    At the time of this meeting the NRC thought it would be 30 years before canisters would be cool enough before moisture could stay on canisters long enough to dissolve corrosive marine salts. Subsequently, evidence from EPRI found a 2-year old Diablo Canyon canister containing high burnup fuel had a low enough temperatures on the canister for salt to dissolve and trigger the cracking process. They don’t know if it has started to crack or how deep the cracks are BECAUSE THEY HAVE NEVER INSPECTED IT FOR CRACKS. No San Onofre canisters have been inspected for cracks, yet some are already 15 years old. And Edison’s plan is to destroy spent fuel pools, the only approved method they have on-site to replace defective canisters. NRC aging management requirements require canisters with 75% or more through-wall cracks be taken out of service. Edison has no way to meet that requirement.

    The NRC statement about 86 years for cracking was based on an EPRI (electric utility industry) report that cherry picked data to fit the conclusion it wanted. It ignored coastal conditions at San Onofre, ignored the Diablo Canyon canister with the 2-year EPRI information for susceptibility, ignored the Koeberg information, and made many assumptions. See critique of report here. https://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/epri-critiqueandkoebergplant2015-05-17.pdf

    The NRC person on the videos said a partially cracked canister could be analyzed to see what kind of earthquake it could withstand. However, this has not been done. Tom Palmisano admitted at a CEP meeting that partially cracked canisters have no seismic evaluation and none of their canisters have been inspected for cracks let alone performed seismic analysis on partially cracked canisters.

    The EPRI video you send is misleading information from EPRI. Someone who is not familiar with technology for inspecting pressure vessels for cracks may not understand that. Suggest you become educated by reading this technical paper on the methods available to inspect for cracks and measure depths of cracks. EPRI uses the term “inspection” loosely. You cannot find cracks with a camera. You cannot measure depth of cracks with a camera. The eddy current they mention only works on known cracks. You’ll notice in this video the EPRI person said that do eddy current testing on a known crack. They also cannot access all areas of the canister, since it must stay inside the concrete overpack. In addition, the Holtec system is not designed to use the technology discussed. It doesn’t exist and will have limited inspection value, even if it did.
    http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr902.pdf

    The NRC approved the relicense of Calvert Cliffs dry storage system, similar to San Onofre older Areva system. The only requirement is they use the best available technology that can access the canister surface through the air vents of the concrete overpack. Right now, that’s just a camera that can check for some surface dust and obvious precursors to cracking. It cannot inspect for microscopic cracks at the surface, let alone below the surface. See Calvert Cliffs evidence here.
    https://sanonofresafety.org/calvert-cliffs-nuclear-power-plant/

    Regarding the Koeberg South African plant, please provide the written evidence that the information provided in scientific journals and to the NRC is incorrect. I have seen no written documentation to that affect from the author of those articles. Have you? The NRC reported that the Koeberg plant had a comparable container (a tank) to the thin-wall canisters. It leaked in only 17 years from stress corrosion cracking, with cracks up to 0.61″ thick. U.S thin-wall canisters are only 0.50″ or 0.625″ thick. It was located in a similar Coastal environment as San Onofre, with high moisture, on-shore winds and crashing surf. There are numerous documents on chloride induced stress corrosion cracking, one of many conditions that can cause these canisters to premature crack. There are numerous technical documents and NRC documents on the SanOnofreSafety.org nuclear waste page.

    Regarding scratches on the new Holtec canisters, the Edison press release said it takes a few tries to get the canister in the hole. Palmisano said the clearance is only 9/16″ of an inch between the canister and the ring. He admitted canisters likely came in contact with the ring going down in the hole. They are working blind and cannot see the hole or the canister as they try to center it in the hole. The fact they missed it by 1/2″ inch makes it very clear this is not a good loading design. Once pitting corrosion starts from scratches, canisters can start cracking. Suggest you research pitting corrosion, if you don’t believe me.

    Regarding the CEP video, there is nothing in the video that says how they will replace or repair a defective canister. We have asked this every meeting and never get a straight answer.

    Regarding peening, peening can make the problem worse and peening has not been evaluated by the NRC as to it’s benefits for nuclear waste canisters. Regarding peeing statements by MPC Associates, they have no credibility. In their defense in depth report on San Onofre, they recommended shipping a failing canister the Idaho National Lab Test Area North hot cell (for replacement). Their own reference for this said that Test Area North hot cell was destroyed in 2007.. How can you call a company independent, if Edison is hiring them?

    Holtec offers no wear warranty on the canisters or concrete base of the system. If the system is so great, why won’t Kris Singh, President of Holtec, put is money where is mouth is, which is claims of long life for these canisters? Why would Edison buy a system with no wear warranty?

    Regarding hiding leaks, the NRC has already approved this for Calvert Cliffs and other Areva locations. And the request is pending at the NRC (Amendment 4). Palmisano confirmed this and I’ve read the documents. Existing license requires they measure peak radiation levels from the air vents. Amendment 4 allows them to only report peak radiation levels from the inlet air vents and the front door of the Areva Horizontal overpack. With through-wall cracks, highest radiation levels will be at the outlet (exhaust) air vents. I know this is unbelievable, but it is true. And you wonder why I say the NRC is a captured government agency.

    And Edison hid for 17 days that the steam generator leak went into the environment. Edison is also the same company that had the first U.S. commercial reactor on the grid (Santa Susana). Through their mismanagement, it had a partial meltdown. Edison released radiation into the communities for days and hid this information for over 20 years. A student doing research at UCLA found the evidence. That site is still contaminated to this day.

    People need to know these facts. They will not get that from you, from Edison, from the NRC speakers, or from the vendors and others who profit from making nuclear waste. We all have a lot to lose if those canisters are not replaced with thick-wall casks before they start cracking and exploding. I have no agenda other than to save our communities from permanent evacuation.

    Ignorance is bliss….until it isn’t. The only option we have is to prevent a disaster at San Onofre. There is no adequate emergency plan after it happens.

    You’ve heard all my rebuttals to your erroneous claims before, but you continue to ignore them and cherry pick information that you think fits your conclusion, so I have little hope of you opening your eyes to the facts, until these Chernobyl disaster cans start exploding.

  • Thanks, Donna for again verifying your dishonesty in regards to spent nuclear fuel.

    So where is your source to back up your claim that fuel and cladding will explode if exposed to air? YOUR website is not a source…quoting yourself from your website as a source for your statements HERE is hardly acceptable.

    At the 9/14/17 CEP, at the 1 hour, 52-minute mark, there is a brief picture of an operator standing there touching a fuel assembly suspended in AIR, folks can be seen in the background. No worry, no hurry, and NO explosion. People can search for images of nuclear fuel and in those images, they’ll find pics of fuel exposed to air…no explosions. When new fuel used to arrive on site, it would sit out in the open air for weeks before being installed in the reactor. There was no fear of explosions and indeed there were none. During the blowdown process where the liquid is blown out of the canister which has been filled with fuel assemblies, the assemblies are exposed to air…no explosion. When fuel is initially fabricated, it is exposed to air…no explosion. Some 40 years ago when pyrophoric reactions regarding damaged fuel cladding were little understood, a canister was pumped full of air, ie., 100% air, far greater than the 5% air YOU claimed was all that was necessary to cause an explosion. Although temperatures became elevated and there was some further cladding damage, the canister was cleaned up and reused…no explosion.

    As for your 16-year through-wall gaff, here is a quote from the very source YOU posted, a quote you conveniently left out:

    “The commenter asked for a rough time range, and the NRC responded that a rough estimate (assuming favorable conditions for cracking per the factors above) would be 30 years to initiate a crack.”

    So, in a document where the NRC said crack initiation would take an estimated 30 years ASSUMING the conditions favorable for cracking continued (a big assumption), you only reported that part that fit your dishonest narrative. In addition, you ignore and fail to report what the NRC, in reply to your own question, told you, which was that it would take 86 years as a most conservative estimate for a crack to go through-wall.

    Your claim that “The NRC statement about 86 years for cracking was based on an EPRI (electric utility industry) report that cherry picked data to fit the conclusion it wanted.” is an unsupported assertion derived at only because they disagree with your narrative.

    Just so all the readers are clear, you’re claiming an internationally recognized non-profit organization cherry-picked data to fit a pre-determined conclusion and that you provide zero evidence to support your charge. You don’t even bother to suggest why they would risk their reputation for such behavior. Not coincidentally, you’ve also claimed the NRC is a captured organization apparently doing the bidding of the utilities, that the independent engineering firm, MPA & Associates can’t be trusted simply because SCE hired them, that independent investigator, David Victor, likewise can’t be trusted for the same stated reason. What is the common denominator in all these charges? All of these companies and people have the engineering experience and expertise to comment on and make recommendations regarding spent fuel, canisters, and corrosion, they reach conclusions diametrically opposed to your own, and you have zero qualifications in the relevant fields but somehow feel the public should listen to you rather than them.

    As for the source that debunked your Koeberg example (Koeberg being your actual source for your 16-year, through-wall claim), see EPRI, Aging Management Guidance (epri.com) and search document 3002008193 and go to table A-35. Here you’ll find that as of 2016 (32 years after going into service) there has been NO through-wall leakage on any part of the tank 13 mm thick and remember, San Onofre’s canisters are almost 16 mm thick. Again, NO through-wall leakage which is contrary to your assertions. Recall also that San Onofre’s canisters are made of a superior quality (more corrosion resistant) stainless steel and have air flow past them and the fuel inside provides a heat source. Both of these agencies help prevent the deliquescence of chlorides and both are absent in your Koeberg example.

    This is not the first time I’ve presented this information to you and because of your unfamiliarity with the truth and consistent practice of only posting what you can con people as information supporting you, I find it hard to believe you were unaware of the above facts.

    I’ll address your other dishonest claims in a future post.

  • The service life of SONGS’ spent fuel canisters exceeds 100 years.
     
    Regarding canister inspections, Donna claims they can’t be inspected and that canisters could be cracking.  At best, her statements are grossly misleading.  Canisters are in fact inspected and these inspections have been conducted at a number of sites.  Lisa Edwards of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), described this process in some detail at the 9/14/17 CEP meeting.
     
    https://www.songscommunity.com/community-engagement/meetings/regular-meeting-on-dry-cask-storage-defense-in-depth-did
     
    Beginning at the 1 hour, 53-minute mark, she relays how a visual inspection of the canister is done and that if there are no indications of problems, ie., indications of corrosion (threat of most concern is Chloride Induced, Stress Corrosion Cracking), then more advanced technologies need NOT be employed.  She says that the corrosion mechanism of concern is always preceded by pitting corrosion which itself poses no danger but that does alert the observer to possibly more serious problems (with CISCC) AND that it is easily identified.  If such indications arise, then more advanced technologies can and would be deployed and that some of these technologies are available right now (and being further improved upon).  These technologies can characterize flaw size and depth to inform engineers on how best to mitigate said theoretical flaws.  Because visual inspections have NEVER, at any plant where they have been performed, indicated problems needing further investigation, these more advanced technologies have not been needed.  It is analogous to the practice of NOT tearing your automobile engine apart to look for possible problems if you have no indication of a problem, to begin with.  So when Donna says the canisters haven’t been inspected for cracks, she is correct if she limits her definition to only include these more advanced technologies, technologies that have thus far not been needed.  And again, they have not been needed because there has been no visual indication of corrosion to merit their use.
     
    With regard to her claim that canisters CAN’T be inspected in this manner, at the same CEP, beginning at the 1 hour, 42-minute mark, Tom Palmisano stated that AREVA (the manufacture of San Onofre’s original 50 canisters loaded beginning in 2003) has a ring device that performs these “advanced technologies” (in this case an eddy current) and that this device is ready for use now.
     
    When Donna states that canisters MUST remain in the overpack (concrete enclosure) to perform inspections, she is wrong as the presentation by Palmisano demonstrate, again the 1:42 mark of the above CEP link.

    When she claims any advanced inspections will fail to reach all areas of the canister, she is again wrong as Lisa Edwards describes at the 1:10 mark (using “guided wave” testing).
     
    I’m unsure as to exactly what Donna means when she says eddy current testing only works on known cracks but if she means it isn’t a method to find them, my response is so what?  As described previously, any crack is going to leave tell-tale signs of corrosion and the eddy current testing would be directed here.    
     
    Donna repeatedly makes reference to the infinitesimal amount of Chlorides found on Diablo Canyon canisters and greatly exaggerates their significance.  Indeed, she accuses EPRI of cherry picking because they didn’t take into consideration Diablo Canyon when assessing the length of time for crack initiation to begin.  Apparently, EPRI didn’t take Diablo Canyon into consideration precisely because the amount was too small to consider.  In the MPR & Associates White Paper, linked here, it was documented that there was only .005 g/m2 and that there were no indications of rust, ie., no corrosion had begun.  Furthermore, the report acknowledges that this amount was below the EPRI reference necessitating further inspection.  Here is the link to the MPR & Associates White Paper:
     
    https://www.songscommunity.com/internal_redirect/cms.ipressroom.com.s3.amazonaws.com/339/files/20182/Pre-Read_SONGS_Used_Fuel_Management_DID_White_Paper.pdf
     
    The information on the Diablo Canyon canisters can be found in Table 1 on page 10.  Also, the refutation of Donna’s claims regarding the Koeberg Tank can be found in this same report in Table 3 on page 23.  On page 25 of this same report is the statement that because the new Holtec canisters have been peened (a process to reduce the stress component of CISCC), they will likely NEVER undergo this corrosion phenomenon.  Astonishingly and without a scintilla of corroborating evidence, Donna claims this process may produce worse problems.
     
    Donna has hyper-focused on the significance of hi-burnup fuel.  David Lochbaum, nuclear safety officer for the Union of Concerned Scientists (no friends of nuclear), had this to say,

    “In this case, the self-serving conclusion by the researcher has spawned an army of activists around the country who contend that high burn-up fuel in dry storage is the greatest risk to humanity yet created. That’s so far from the truth that the truth could not be seen using the Hubble telescope (with a good lens).” 

    His comment is obviously directed at Donna and those who subscribe to her alarmism.

    Again, when Donna makes this claim, “Edison has no plan in place to prevent leaks and explosions or to stop the radiation from leaking out into the environment.” the dispassionate and objective reader can simply go to the NRC website and look under Aging Management of spent fuel, or the aforementioned MPR & Associates White Paper, or the following EPRI document which is the one that debunks her Koeberg example, and one will find exactly what Donna claims isn’t being implemented…a plan to prevent leaks (explosions cannot occur).

    https://www.epri.com/#/pages/product/000000003002008193/?lang=en

    Finally, let me remind the readers that Donna has dismissed the government agency that oversees the entire nuclear industry (NRC) without suggesting a reason why they would engage in the kind of malfeasance she claims, has dismissed the independent engineering firm MPR and Associates, dismissed independent investigator David Victor, and dismissed the findings of the non-profit engineering firm of EPRI claiming they arrived at a preordained conclusion. She doesn’t suggest a reason why they would risk their reputation for this but it is interesting that with all these engineering experts, who coincidentally have all reached the same conclusion regarding canisters and corrosion, a conclusion opposite from Donna’s, when she can twist their words or point to a study they’ve done that she can mischaracterize as support for her claims, she doesn’t hesitate to do so.

  • SONGS’ spent fuel canisters will last beyond 100 years.

    Donna claims that unborated water entering the canister will cause the fuel to go critical. When making such ridiculous claims, she should provide technical sources for them and more importantly, the assumptions made to reach these conclusions.

    Spent, or used fuel is called spent for a reason. Fuel that can no longer maintain criticality in the reactor vessel, the location specifically designed to enhance this phenomenon, is removed from the reactor during a REFUELING outage where NEW fuel replaces the SPENT fuel. Inside the canisters where this “spent fuel” is eventually stored, the grid supporting this fuel is made of Metamic, a neutron absorbing material used specifically to prevent criticality. Also, the control rods that are fully inserted into the core to shutdown the reactor, are stored within these canisters. These control rods are also made from neutron absorbing material and thus help prevent criticality events in the canister.
    Then, Donna needs to explain how a canister is supposed to fill with water in the first place…they are double-welded shut.

    Donna claims Tom Palmisano said canisters with cracks (there are none) cannot be assessed seismically. It would be nice if she would point to where he is supposed to have said this. She has a habit of mischaracterizing statements made by others and pointing to legitimate studies that invariably do NOT say what she claims they say.

    So, the seismic qualification of a cracked canister would be determined per ASME code. This is an established practice. EPRI has determined that dry storage canisters are very flaw tolerant, i.e., CISCC is unlikely to adversely affect their structural integrity.

    One of Donna’s stated reasons for claiming MPA & Associates, the independent engineering firm hired by SCE, lacks credibility, is that they mistakenly referred to use of an Idaho National Laboratory (INL) hotcell that had been destroyed. The white paper MPA authored corrected this mistake but it should also be pointed out that INL has at least one other hotcell (it’s appropriateness for use in this case is uncertain, at least by me).
    If MPA lacks credibility for this, how about the website Donna continually directs readers to, the one that has contained numerous gaffs, falsehoods, and outright lies?

    Her website peddled the lie that SONGS’ emergency batteries were disconnected for 4 years! The site mislabeled the REFUELING pool claiming it was the SPENT fuel pool; quoted so-called experts that claimed pressurized water reactors (PWRs) do not have reactor vessel water level indication when in fact they do; published inaccurate fuel burn-up numbers even though they/she was in possession of the tech specs that demonstrated her published numbers were wrong, or if correct, in violation of these tech specs; had a video interview of an individual claiming there were fantastic, science fiction-like birth defects in animals as a result of TMI; and a host of one-sided claims all dedicated to undermining Nuclear Power.

    Donna tries to frighten the public and raise suspicions about SCE with statements like the one above where she claims Edison hid from the public (for 17 days) the release of radiation during the 2012 Steam Generator tube leak. First and foremost, the amount released was infinitesimal and it all went through carbon filters specifically in place to scrub the exhaust of radioactive elements. As I have pointed out in the past, and as she has just as consistently ignored, I could have walked up and touched the exhaust pipe, basking in its effluent…it was never even posted as a radiation area. Second, the NRC was immediately informed and when they’re informed, it becomes public knowledge. Third, as anti-nukes have complained about in the past, normal liquid or gaseous discharges have NEVER been announced to the public as these announcements are unnecessary. One can view on the NRC’s website the plant’s effluent discharges for the year and this report provides the dose the most exposed member of the public would have received for the year, and for 2012, it was LESS than one milli rem (mRem). To put this in perspective, this same individual would receive 10 times that amount all at once, not over the course of a year, when getting dental X-rays, or 4 times the amount when simply flying from LAX to New Orleans (yes, flight crews get more radiation dose than most nuclear plant workers).

    Finally, let me again say as I have in the past, this is NOT a personal issue I have with Donna. She has always been pleasant and professional with me and apart from this subject matter, I have no complaints. But when an individual or individuals claim to speak on behalf of the public and their statements are either false, incomplete, or in some other way misleading, and I possess information to illuminate this malfeasance, I’m going to do so. The topics of spent fuel, canister technology, and corrosion mechanisms are complex and the public must rely on those with the expertise, experience, and training to understand how best to proceed. While it is certainly wise to ask probing questions and demand transparency in an effort to insure the experts have the public’s interest upper most in mind, failure to acknowledge their efforts and indeed, always attempting to undermine their efforts, is not doing the public a service, that’s called a disservice. My appeal to Donna is that she would work with the experts, not against them.

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