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SCSQUARED halfJerry Collamer, San Clemente

With great interest, I read Steve Pezman’s excellent reply to Peter Cassimatis’s curious letter to the editor in the April 21 edition of the San Clemente Times, where San Clemente residents are roundly criticized for taking continuing public action on matters critical to sustaining quality of life issues here in our village by the sea.

Regarding the ridicule of DeRail the Rail, should we have preferred double tracking along San Clemente’s coastline, doubling the number of trains (and train horns) all hours day and night? No conscious San Clemente resident could ever want that.

It was stated Rib Traders restaurant was run out of town and was replaced by a “postage-stamp”-sized Ralphs.

“Two pounds of baloney, please.”

There are six, large-chain grocery stores, and one petite grocery store within SC city limits and a Costco a few miles north. Take your pick when searching your favorite secret sauce.

There were barbs launched in the letter aimed at the long-defunct, North Beach non-development dust-up: plunking a view-blocking, beach-close, two-story bar/restaurant where it needn’t be.

Thanks to San Clemente’s conscious activists, isn’t it?

The Poche Beach’s recycling system was next. Poche’s problems begin far upstream, involving a landfill, upstream residents overwatering, a golf course that could do more and bird poop at water’s edge.

The remedy is a falcon. Poche is no longer Orange County’s worst thanks to the falcon.

Regarding San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, SONGS was shuttered due to leaky, radioactive pipes. Edison ran the numbers and decided it was too costly to fix, permanently closing SONGS. So what propaganda?

The letter stated the City Council muffed the hospital deal. Fact: City Council wants the hospital and its ER.

The letter addressed the Nixon Library Plan that came with 1,700 homes, removal of the beach bluffs and all habitat.

At least with the Outlet Mall and the multi-million dollar homes being built there, we now have a public, ocean-view bluff trail network, with parks, and protected habitat beyond compare, open to everyone.

The letter blamed weekend I-5 traffic on the lack of a toll road and privileged local surfers for stopping a toll road to Trestles.

Privileged local surfers? Trestles is a global surf spot known around the world. Every surfer who surfs Trestles, San Onofre and San Clemente are privileged. Surfers all know that, and respect that privilege. The toll road was a terrible idea on so many levels, there’s not space here to state them all, but if you ever want to have coffee, I’ll explain them to you. But here’s one, a toll road here would do nothing to ease I-5 traffic. In fact, it would have made I-5 traffic worse.

People should feel privileged to live in a town whose residents fight to keep San Clemente the wonderful place it is.

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comments (7)

  • Before this goes into that Hatfield vs McCoys category where “I am right and you are dumb” could you please publish here on the web the two letters that you refer to so that your editorial opinion can more easily be referenced.
    And in the ideal world there would be some foot notes for fact checking issues like the 1700 homes as part of the Nixon Library plan which is a major piece of that long discussed issue.
    If the paper sets forth the two sides and allows both to give some fact checking options along with your own editorial foot notes we might have more information before the sides become entrenched.
    And if I am already in the “you are dumb” because this is already avialable and I missed it please just repy “yad”!

  • @ Jerry Collamer

    Your statement: “Regarding San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, SONGS was shuttered due to leaky, radioactive pipes. Edison ran the numbers and decided it was too costly to fix, permanently closing SONGS. So what propaganda?”

    What propaganda? How about the lies that San Onofre’s emergency batteries were disconnected for four years? Can you drive your car with the battery disconnected…for four years? How about the lie that San Onofre almost suffered another Fukushima? How about the lie that a truck bomb from outside the perimeter could take out the spent fuel pools or that discharges are done in secret even though they are a matter of record you can look up right on your computer?

    How about the two pounds of baloney Ace Hoffman spread when he claimed there were literally a thousand ways to melt down a nuclear plant; just the flip of a wrong switch or turn of the wrong valve…needless to say, he didn’t inform his readers what this magical switch or valve was. How about all the hokum regarding how dangerous storing spent fuel is even though nobody in America has ever been harmed from its storage? How dangerous moving spent fuel assemblies is even though fuel assemblies have been safely moved more than a million times in America alone?

    How about the false statements regarding supposed leaking canisters at TMI or that 2000 MWs of solar, apart from roof top, had replaced SONGs generation by the time of the first CEP? Both categorically false.

    The anti nuclear zealots have exaggerated and made so many false claims that it is hard to keep up with their bovine odour and yet they continue in their crusade to hoodwink the public.

    And in your article above, you falsely claim Edison decided the plant was too costly to fix…wrong! Although Unit 2 tubes never leaked, ALL tubes in the region where Unit 3 tubes had a problem were staked and plugged. Unit 2 was ready to start up, the NRC had given approval but then Barbara Boxer stabbed the plant and the people she misrepresents in the back. She got the ASLB to over rule the NRC forcing SCE to first obtain a license amendment, a process that could take a year, prior to starting up. It was a delaying tactic since the tin-foil hat crowd couldn’t shut SONGs down on the merits of their claims; SCE couldn’t justify to their stockholders paying 1500 people for another year (at this point the plant had already been down a year and a half) without any revenue coming in…the delaying tactic worked and SCE through in the towel. 1200 good paying jobs have been forever lost, a number of these folks remain unemployed due to their age, and many others have had to move away, some out of state and/or out of the country, a disruption in the lives of their families. Just whose livelihoods will these anti nuclear pariahs pester next?

    So when you get your electric bill, thank members of the anti nuclear activist crowd for the extra dollars you’re paying and for the loss of power we suffered on a Sunday back in (Sept. of 2015?)

  • a good rebuttal JERRY you are mostly correct except the poche beach thing the channel is being cleared to stop the bacteria breeding ground and the plastic coyotes are doing a fabulous job there,, so in my opinion the 104,000 dollars would be better spent on the longest lasting and most affordable health and safety endeavor ever sidewalks ,,, after all our city is a hundred years old and we still don’t have complete sidewalks ,,, to walk to school or get to the beach ( -:p

  • Thanks, Jerry, for all your hard work on these projects. One of the beauties of San Onofre is local citizen activism. Regard David Davison’s comments, he chose to not mention that the thousands of steam generator tubes in both Unit 2 and Unit 3 had decades worth of wear in less than two years and one year of use, respectively. This is because Edison insisted on an inferior redesign that made them less money, but more profit. They wanted to restart Unit 2 without fixing the bad design. This company has the worst safety complaint record from employees than any other nuclear plant in the entire nation.
    And the high rate of retaliation of employees who report safety problems to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Edison is part owner of the Palo Verde nuclear plant (our neighbor in Arizona). It now has the highest employee safety complaint record. Diablo Canyon also has a high employee safety complaint record. Both plants provide electricity to California. Both plants need to be shutdown. We need to heed the warnings of these brave employees who warn us about safety problems being ignored by the utilities — not employees who choose to believe Edison’s propaganda and selectively ignore facts.

    Now Edison wants to store over 100 “Chernobyl” nuclear waste thin steel canisters about 100 feet from the beach, even though they cannot be inspected and are subject to short-term cracking and leaking. Even the Holtec vendor states even if you could find a crack, and in the face of millions of curies of radiation being released into the environment from even a microscopic through-wall crack, and find a way to repair it robotically, it’s not feasible to repair without introducing another area for corrosion and cracking. Watch NRC Director Mark Lombard state “inspection is not a now thing” and Holtec CEO Dr. Singh make the above statements at

    Even Entergy (a major nuclear utility company that owns numerous nuclear plants) said the Holtec UMAX system selected by Edison is unproven and too complicated and too expensive. It’s such a bad choice Entergy says the DOE will likely not reimburse utilities that use it.

    These thin canisters contain more deadly Cesium-137 than released from Chernobyl. The NRC ACRS Chairman said if spent fuel assemblies are exposed to air they can explode, especially with high burnup fuel, which is the majority of the spent fuel at San Onofre.

    Holtec warranty is only 10 years on the system. The underground part of the system is subject to corrosion and structural cracking from ground moisture and chemicals, yet it can’t and won’t be inspected. Why is Edison choosing the worst system on the market? Why won’t they share the Holtec contract?

    Guess who will likely be on the hook when these fail. The CPUC knows the problems with this system, yet recently approved Edison’s plan for this inferior and costly system.

    The Coastal Commission also admits the problems with this system, yet gave Edison a permit to build it. They added special conditions to the permit saying Edison had to solve all the problems with the system in 20 years, which will be impossible. Edison never mentions that at any of their Community Engagement Panel meetings.

    Who is pulling the strings of the CPUC and the Coastal Commission? That is who should be held accountable when these Chernobyl cans start exploding. There is still time to reverse these decisions. All CPUC commissioners are appointed by Governor Brown.

  • More propaganda from Donna:

    She says: “Even the Holtec vendor states even if you could find a crack, and in the face of millions of curies of radiation being released into the environment from even a microscopic through-wall crack, and find a way to repair it robotically, it’s not feasible to repair without introducing another area for corrosion and cracking.”

    I’ve replied to her deceptive comments on this topic numerous times but she continues her attempt to deceive the public. This is what I’ve said to her in the past and she never responds because she knows she is being dishonest on this:

    “Regarding Dr. Singh’s statement, you are again engaging in deliberate deception because you fail to report what Dr. Singh’s point was. He said (at about the 45 second mark) “you can EASILY easily isolate that canister” words you chose to ignore and not report on. His company prefers to simply place one canister inside another should a theoretical crack occur vice repairing the canister. Either option provides a solution, solutions you pretend don’t exist.”

    Furthermore, Dr. Singh also spoke of how unlikely a crack is to develop, verified by the fact that not a single canister used for commercial nuclear fuel has ever had a through wall crack. In addition, Dr. Singh misspoke when he referred to the radioactivity coming out of a theoretical microscopic crack, remarks he clarified later when shocked fuel engineers questioned him about his gaff. Conveniently, Donna leaves all this out in favor of a more alarmist narrative…it is dishonest.

    Donna says: “Watch NRC Director Mark Lombard state “inspection is not a now thing”…”

    Instead of the address for the video clip, Donna directs the readers to her one-sided website where presumably, the Mark Lombard clip could eventually be found. Here is the direct address, I encourage everyone to listen to what he says and decide for yourself if Donna is fairly characterizing it:

    So, does Lombard appear skeptical of a positive solution to this long term problem? Not at all, but you would never know it if you took Donna’s word for it. Lombard says “They’ve come a long way in the last year in a half…they are not quite there yet but they are VERY VERY close…the robotics have improved over the last six months even…”

    Contrast his real statements with the impression Donna wishes to leave the reader (with multiple clicks to find it through her website, she is probably hoping you won’t even try but simply take her word for it).

    In addition, commercial nuclear plants have been storing canisters since the early 1990s and EPRI (mentioned by Lombard in the clip) states that a conservative estimate of a through wall crack would take 80 years. Donna quotes from EPRI when they present material she can use but complains they’re in bed with the industry when their analysis conflicts with her own world view. Similarly, she is more than willing to take a quote out of context from Mark Lombard and use it to further her agenda, but simultaneously accuses the NRC of being in bed with the industry it regulates. After reviewing all the literature on the topic of fuel storage, David Victor, chairman of the CEP, came to the exact opposite conclusion as Donna and therefore he is also, in Donna’s mind, untrustworthy. So Edison, the NRC, the CEP, and EPRI (who does many of the studies the industry and the NRC rely on for accurate info) all agree on the best course of action, a course that conflicts with the activist agenda.

    Donna continues her propaganda: “Even Entergy (a major nuclear utility company that owns numerous nuclear plants) said the Holtec UMAX system selected by Edison is unproven and too complicated and too expensive.”

    I encourage others to view this document for another sample of Donna’s mischaracterization of documents she refers to. NO WHERE in this document does Entergy state that the UMAX systems is unproven and too complicated. They do state that THEY are choosing the less expensive option and refer to San Onofre’s choice in these words: “It is my understanding that San Onofre selected an underground system based on site-specific conditions that are not applicable to the VY Station, such as site space limitations and tsunami protection, as well as commercial considerations.”

    What is particularly distasteful about this example, is that Donna and her followers have been providing a steady drum beat that Edison was buying cheap canisters because they wanted more profit for themselves. Suddenly, when Entergy says they are not buying the more expensive underground system that Edison has chosen, the anti-nukes, who’ve all along pushed for an even more expensive and ill suited system, have become cost conscience. What do you want to bet that the local anti-nukes up at VY are castigating them for choosing a cheaper system when they could be buying the robust system Edison is. The only thing consistent with anti-nukes is that whatever policy or decision is made, it must be to the detriment of the nuclear industry.

    Since Nuclear Power is the cleanest source of generation per MWHr of electricity produced, and replacing nuclear generation in CA would be expensive, cost good paying jobs, and produce more pollution, listening to those who have not hesitated to lie, exaggerate, mischaracterize, and make false statements and who advocate for nuclear’s demise, is not wise. Be fair warned of their duplicity.

  • Donna’s is the classic, text book case on propaganda. First, she doesn’t even address or dispute all the false statements and lies her group has put out to hoodwink the public. Given this history of telling lies and making false statements, any claims made by these activists need to be taken with a large grain of salt.

    So, wading through the propaganda we find Donna’s statement: “…Edison insisted on an inferior redesign that made them less money, but more profit.”

    Donna needs to answer how she can claim these generators made Edison LESS MONEY but MORE PROFIT. Does that even make sense to the reader? Remember all the lies these folks have told, lies they don’t even dispute.

    What happened?

    As old 1970’s equipment needed replacement, SCE would often exchange it with more efficient and updated components such as the new turbines and new computer systems. Does the reader replace his or her old car or refrigerator or computer with another, identical old one or does one make use of the advances in technology?

    Similarly, when SCE decided to replace the Steam Generators (large heat exchangers), rather than replace them with identical ones (since all must be specially ordered and fabricated), it was decided to up grade with generators that would produce more power. Built into the computer program MHI used for analyzing the at power conditions within the generator, was a design flaw that didn’t reflect actual water level within the generator. As a result, tubes within the generator experienced vibration of a magnitude not anticipated. The anti-nuke propagandists wish to portray this as some sort of malfeasance on Edison’s part and do so precisely to further their own activist agenda.

    More propaganda from Donna: “Edison is part owner of the Palo Verde nuclear plant (our neighbor in Arizona). It now has the highest employee safety complaint record.”
    This is like saying the cities of Riverside and Anaheim are at fault for what occurs at San Onofre because they are part owners of San Onofre. These cities have NO operational input as to how the plant is run, just as SCE has NO operational input into how Palo Verde is run. It is illustrative to see how these activists dishonestly attempt to place blame on the particular plant or company they happen to be targeting.

    More propaganda: “They wanted to restart Unit 2 without fixing the bad design.”

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, although Unit 2 tubes NEVER leaked (nor was the wear more than just elevated), ALL tubes in the region where Unit 3 tubes had a problem were staked and plugged, ie., the cause of the elevated wear was fixed. This is why the NRC gave approval for the startup plan; they were intimately involved at every step of the process and were quite upset when the ASLB over ruled them.

    Finally, after mentioning Diablo Canyon and Palo Verde, Donna has this to say: “Both plants provide electricity to California. Both plants need to be shutdown.”

    No reason is given nor for them is any reason needed. This is the ultimate goal for these activists and it only remains for them to later come up with some fig leaf excuse as to why their extremist views should be implemented. It doesn’t matter that these two plants provide close to 6000 MWs of GHG free, non polluting, 24/7 reliable power, all of which would have to be replaced should their foolishness be taken seriously. And what of the thousands of jobs lost? Apparently for activists, they don’t count when they have an agenda to pursue. These activists have lied, made false statements, exaggerated and promoted hysteria, and they continue to do so. Their actions and dishonesty are repugnant.

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