ROGER JOHNSON, San Clemente
Congratulations to Congressman Mike Levin for his detailed Task Force Report on the safety and security of our just completed “San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump.”
We are now home to one of the largest concentrations in the country (1,773 tons) of highly radioactive uranium and plutonium nuclear waste. The plant was never supposed to store nuclear waste but now it is doing just that.
The thin canisters with internal temperatures of about 500 degrees were supposed to be temporary, but now they will probably be here for decades, and perhaps centuries, or until there is a catastrophe.
No one else in the country will risk storing our waste in their community, so the current plan is to leave it right here where it was generated no matter how dangerous it might be. Thanks also to Jake Howard and the surfing community for calling attention to this issue.
In addition, we must thank the Surfrider Foundation for helping force Southern California Edison to announce 48 hours in advance when they will pump low-level radiation into the ocean or blast it into the air.
SCE has performed liquid batch releases three times in the last six weeks, including the most recent one on July 10. When asked to postpone the Memorial Day holiday weekend release, SCE refused. The advance notices of radioactive release off San Onofre beach can be found on the SONGS website.
For the last half-century, they have conducted radioactive discharges regularly in secret, and there’s question from the community on whether it causes cancer, especially in women and children who are more vulnerable to low-level radiation.
The National Academy of Sciences was scheduled to research possible cancer streaks in the 50-km radius around San Onofre, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission blocked the research from starting.
So, thanks to Congressman Levin and thanks to the surfers for taking the lead in what is probably the biggest threat to the future of San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano and other towns up and down the coast. It is time for everyone to join in the effort to get rid of the San Onofre Nuclear waste on our beach.