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PAUL BLANCH, Hartford, Connecticut
I write this as an expert on nuclear plant radiation monitoring, being part of the American Nuclear Society dictating requirements for nuclear plant radiation monitoring. I was also an expert witness after Three Mile Island (TMI) and a member of the post-TMI Nuclear Regulatory Commission group for accident monitoring.
The recent San Clemente Times article titled “SONGS Representatives Explain Radiation Monitoring” should have read “SONGS attempts to mislead the public.”
The only concern during and after decommissioning is a radioactive release from either the spent fuel pool or the Holtec canisters, which are believed to be defective. Properly engineered air radiation is the only means to detect a leak, not a monitor designed to only detect background radiation. Southern California Edison needs a monitor to detect the primary isotope of concern: Cesium-137.
The monitor depicted in the Edison photo appears to be aimed skyward, and unless a catastrophic canister accident occurs, these monitors will detect nothing. When there is a release, it will probably not be detected by these monitors, only seeing cosmic radiation from the sky.
These monitors are solely meant to provide a warm feeling of protecting the public, and I don’t believe they are capable of detecting any leakage from the spent fuel pool or Holtec canisters.
Mark Lewis stated: “I’ve been working here for 38 years, and my lifetime occupational radiation exposure at each millirem has been carefully counted throughout my career. My number is 1,004.”
I have been in the industry for 55 years. My number is more than 5,000. So, what?
I am happy to live on the East Coast, 2,500 miles from the devious PR from Edison and potential radiation from San Onofre.