Gary Headrick, San Clemente
Nuclear waste is an enormous issue facing our nation as the nuclear industry looks for a quick exit strategy. Our little “Spanish Village by the Sea” is about to get stuck with over 3 million pounds of it right at the ocean’s edge, yet it doesn’t even make our mayor’s list of issues for 2018. Communities like ours are being told what they want to hear, but not the truth about how long we will be in harm’s way.
The reality is that much of this highly radioactive waste will remain too hot to be moved away from San Onofre for several decades. Meanwhile, Southern California Edison has opted for the most “commercially reasonable” solution, which will absolve them of huge liabilities, but leaves us with temporary storage containers that are not designed to last for as long as they need to be here. Each of the 124 thin steel canisters contains more radiation than was released in the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Deregulation and the influence that the nuclear industry wields over policymakers and regulators have left the unsuspecting public unprotected. That means ordinary citizens must band together to insist on far better long-term solutions that will protect our health and safety, not to mention our real estate or other investments we have in this area.
Our common goal is to protect what we love from the disastrous effects of exposure to radiation. This is an issue that should unite all of us in an effort to change course immediately before it is too late. Please get involved and stay informed by texting SCGreen to 22828.
One of our immediate goals is to get U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris to come to San Clemente to hear our concerns and visit the San Onofre nuclear waste site in person to see for herself the precarious plan that Edison is about to execute. We will be distributing pre-addressed postcards on which people can write their own personal message to the senator. You can send her a letter at www.harris.senate.gov or call her LA Office at 213.894.5000 or D.C. office at 202.224.3553.
On a final note, I’d also like to express my appreciation for the City staff that accommodated our impromptu “Don’t Nuke Our Coast” rally on Dec. 30, and to those who attended this event we co-sponsored with the youthful Team Zissou Environmental Organization led by Jackson Hinkle. This was just the first wave in the swell of opposition we have planned.