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Gary Headrick, San Clemente

Southern California Edison’s Community Engagement Panel (CEP) has convened for the past three years to discuss the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. I will be speaking at the next CEP meeting, 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Doubletree Hotel, located at 34402 Pacific Coast Highway, in Dana Point. The topic will be “from the perspective of the last three years, what have you seen—and where should we be headed for the next three.”

To put it bluntly, they have been doing a lot of talking but not much listening. Instead, they should be investigating the community’s concerns and exploring other options. The plan that the CEP is going along with only works if Edison can predict the future accurately. The most recent proof of that not being the case is the failed steam generator replacement project, which led to the shutdown. How can this body, whose primary core principle is public safety, even consider a plan that relies on technology that has yet to be invented, tested and proven?

Our request will be to allow other experts who disagree with Edison’s plan to make presentations and take questions from the panel and the community at large. There are some very well-qualified professionals in this field who think it is a bad idea to bury nuclear waste inches above the water table, 100 feet from the waves, in an earthquake/tsunami zone using containers that are known to develop cracks in a marine environment, but that can’t be monitored and can’t be repaired if they leak radiation or attain “criticality” (an uncontrollable nuclear reaction).

While the CEP is not a decision-making body, Edison likes to say that “the Community Engagement Panel and a number of community stakeholders have aligned to support their proposals.” That just might be because they have only heard one side of the story. Please attend to show support for this reasonable request to hear from other experts before it is too late. Edison’s current plan is unacceptable. There are far better options that Edison may not favor, but need to be considered for the sake of all.

Gary Headrick is the founder of San Clemente Green.

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comments (1)

  • More false statements from Gary

    Gary’s statement: “To put it bluntly, they have been doing a lot of talking but not much listening.”

    No, at every CEP meeting your coven of anti-nuclear zealots are there to spread your hysteria, lies, and false statements. False statements like yours above: “…a plan that relies on technology that has yet to be invented, tested and proven?” Holtec’s canisters have been installed at a number of other plants, have NRC approval (an approval that doesn’t exist for the casks Gary wants SCE to use), have NEVER developed a crack, and are every day a proven success.

    Zealots can have hired guns make presentations and take questions till the cows come home but the NRC approved Holtec design is already being installed. When Gary speaks of these “well-qualified professionals”, keep in mind that the website he hawks refers to Helen Caldicott (an activist with zero credentials in the relevant field) as an independent expert. Furthermore, his disingenuous claim of “…using containers that are known to develop cracks in a marine environment” is a theoretical statement meant to frighten the public since it has never occurred (no containment vessel will last forever, nor is this a requirement).

    More false statements by Gary: “…can’t be monitored and can’t be repaired if they leak radiation or attain “criticality” (an uncontrollable nuclear reaction). The canisters are not only monitored, but the NRC requires them to be monitored. Canisters can be repaired and they can also be placed one inside another (Holtec’s preferred method) should a theoretical crack occur.

    Here is what independent investigator, David Victor, had to say:

    “Results from an actual cask that has been allowed to leak slowly for 2 years show, as well, that intrusion of water and the formation of hydrogen gas can’t reach explosive levels (section 4.4.3, page 4-25). I learned two things from this work. First, there is simply zero basis for the highly emotive statements that I have seen in the press and various other locations for the view that long-term storage of the fuel on site at SONGS has put “another Fukushima” or “another Chernobyl” in our backyard. We do the public a disservice with such emotive language since it creates images that are not in any way rooted in the technical assessment of the real risks.”

    David Victor is speaking about people like YOU Gary…doing the public a disservice by your emotive language (translation, false statements).

    Canisters are also specifically designed to prevent criticality accidents, accidents which have not only never occurred in commercial canisters, but become even less likely as the fuel decays with age. BTW, criticality is NOT an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, it is precisely what nuclear plants do control because NO criticality equals NO electricity produced for the public.

    Gary, are you still standing by your foolish claim that SONGs’ tube leak almost resulted in an accident worse than Fukushima? Will you ever indulge your readers on how San Onofre’s tube leak “could have easily escalated into a full-blown emergency, far worse than what Japan continues to endure today”? Have you no shame regarding these lies and false statements?

    A question for the unbiased reader, given Gary’s cavalier attitude with the truth, is there any reason to place any stock in anything he says?

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