ROGER JOHNSON, San Clemente
It is unfortunate that reader Bob Carrick wants to politicize the nuclear waste issue and advance Yucca Mountain as a solution. One of the main reasons for disqualifying this site was the discovery of volcanic activity nearby and important underground aquifers below.
Scientists concluded it was too dangerous to locate nuclear waste near a water table. Also troubling is its location only 70 miles from Las Vegas.
One of the main recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future was local consent. Nevada never produced any nuclear waste, and it is little wonder that residents strongly oppose becoming a nuclear dumping ground. The state already suffered enough from the 928 nuclear tests at the Nevada Proving Grounds.
Republican Richard Nixon wanted the nation to build 1,000 nuclear power plants. The state was saved under Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown with the passage of the Nuclear Moratorium Act of 1976, which forbade any more nuclear power plants in California until there was a solution for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel.
A half-century later, there is still no solution. The thousands of tons of highly radioactive uranium and plutonium in Zip Code 92672 will remain lethal for hundreds of thousands of years.
Locally, Republican Darrell Issa did almost nothing about San Onofre. Democrat Mike Levin has done more for the health and safety of California’s 49th Congressional District in 18 months than Issa did in 18 years.
On June 15, 1980, 15,000 people protested San Onofre, but to no avail. Now San Clemente is stuck with deadly nuclear waste for decades, perhaps forever.
Many residents are just discovering that Southern California Edison has been discharging radiation into the air and ocean here for over a half-century.
According to Nuclear Regulatory Commission records, in the five years prior to the generator failure, which shut the plant, there were 1,041 radiation releases into the ocean and atmosphere.
In 2011 alone, SCE pumped radioactive-laced water into the ocean for 518 hours at 740,000 gallons per minute or a total of 23 billion gallons dumped into the ocean that year.
It appears that the nightmare of San Onofre will continue, because the public and its officials remain largely silent and because some seek to use the issue only for political gain. This ought to be an issue where everyone of all political persuasions can join hands and demand a solution.