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By Roger Johnson, San Clemente
Congratulations to Jim Kempton for pointing out, in the Oct. 19-25 edition of the San Clemente Times, the most critical issue facing Orange County: the current plan to store large quantities of uranium and plutonium a few miles from here for the indefinite future. He is right that both the public and the decision-makers are minimally informed. He is also correct that Southern California Edison has been distributing inaccurate and incomplete information and appears to be engaged in an effort to trivialize the dangers of possible radioactive fallout over large areas.
I attended what was advertised as a “Fun Emergency Preparedness Fair” in San Clemente on Oct 21. I also attended a much larger event on the same day on “Disaster Preparedness” sponsored by Orange County and the city of Mission Viejo. Both events focused only on conventional emergencies such as fires and earthquakes. All the tents and exhibits and all the literature distributed contained not one word about a radiological emergency. The emergency preparedness people I spoke to appeared to be uninformed and unprepared for radioactive fallout. The “Ready OC” brochure carefully lists every possible emergency except what is now the most dangerous and most likely disaster. The “Alert OC: Stay Informed” document is uninformative, misleading and appears to rely on Edison public relations. It suggests that we should not worry because “even our bodies give off small amounts of radiation.”
There is only one way that zip code 92672 will not become a nuclear waste dump, and that is massive public opposition. So far, that is not happening. Kempton is correct in stating that everyone is in the dark. Perhaps that is the master plan for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear industry: cultivate a public that is compliant, complacent and uninformed. The plan seems to be working.