Jennifer Massey, San Clemente
On Oct. 18, I attended the symposium in San Clemente on nuclear waste and radiation monitoring. I was alarmed at what I learned. How many people here know that San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is the official location of more than 1,700 tons of highly radioactive uranium and plutonium?
San Clemente has an exceptional amount of nuclear waste, more than enough to produce a Chernobyl or Fukushima-type of catastrophe. Even worse, it appears that this waste will be with us for decades and possibly forever.
Are we prepared? We don’t even have any real-time monitoring of radioactivity if there is an accident or terrorist attack. Don’t people know that no insurance covers contamination by radioactive fallout? As a real estate broker, I know that all homes could become a total uninsurable loss. Everyone would still have to continue paying their mortgages.
Before us is an important City Council election with no fewer than 12 candidates. Only two of the candidates (Jackson Hinkle and Jake Rybczyk) consistently stress the importance of getting nuclear waste out of here. Jackson even went to Washington, D.C. to help persuade members of Congress to take action. Let’s get both Jake and Jackson on the City Council. We need their energy and dedication to what is by far the most important issue for this region: The San Clemente nuclear waste dump.
Editor’s note: Although the highly radioactive nuclear waste is dangerous, a disaster of the magnitude experienced at Fukushima or Chernobyl is highly unlikely as the power plant is offline, according to SONGS officials.