Mike Russell, San Clemente
Jake Howard’s report in the July 19-25 edition of the San Clemente Times on his tour of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was both interesting and balanced. Nevertheless, some additional information may be helpful to your readers.
Regarding the seawall, it was designed and built to protect the Unit 1 reactor, which operated from 1967 through 1992 against a tsunami caused by the maximum credible offshore earthquake and the maximum credible storm surge, if these events occurred at the same time. Check with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who prepared a safety evaluation report before issuing an operating license.
Regarding transferring used nuclear fuel from wet storage to dry storage, that project is scheduled to be completed next year. Check with Dr. David G. Victor (University of California, San Diego) who is the chairman of the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel.
Regarding the permanent home for used nuclear fuel, a deep geological repository has already been built in Yucca Mountain near the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Only political gridlock in Washington, D.C. prevents used nuclear fuel from being shipped out of our backyards.