GARY HEADRICK, co-founder of San Clemente Green
I’d like to respond to the Guest Opinion from Oct. 1 about radioactive threats from San Onofre and particularly about the role San Clemente Green has played. We were mischaracterized as “fearmongers” and “activists” when we are simply advocates for safety.
We formed in 2007, and by 2010, we had reached our sole purpose to adopt a Sustainability Action Plan for San Clemente, which still guides our city on matters of the environment to this day.
Our focus was not on nuclear power until we were contacted by licensed nuclear operators at the plant. They felt compelled to get safety concerns out into the open, even if it meant suffering brutal retaliation from management and fellow employees who just wanted to keep their jobs.
They predicted the cause of the permanent shutdown two years prior. Most people don’t even know how close we came to disaster, but luck was with us.
Since then, I’ve learned firsthand that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been captured by the industry. Edison is essentially self-regulated, providing the NRC with data they collect themselves without NRC or any independent third-party analysis.
The Woods Hole report mentioned in the article also used data collected by Edison to reassure us that it is safe to be in the ocean during a purge of radioactive waste. All of the regulatory agencies involved are relying on Edison to provide accurate information when they have a long history of not doing so, according to well-publicized events, such as nearly dropping a nuclear waste canister in 2018.
That is why we take precautions and inform others when there is to be a batch release. People have a right to make an informed decision. It was stated, “San Clemente Green publishes warnings and links the releases (implausibly, for no evidence is provided) to mass cancers, because we all know someone who has cancer, so, you know, wink, wink.”
We value our reputation as being credible concerned citizens. Our view is simply this. No validation, no trust. We stand with Surfrider in calling for truly independent and complete analysis of data, and hope others will, too.