Do we need another Fukushima in our own backyard? The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) has been closed since January due to faulty steam generators that were installed in 2010 and 2011 at a cost of $671 million to SoCal Edison ratepayers.
This closure provides Southern California residents with an unprecedented opportunity to decommission SONGS and prevent potential ecological and economic catastrophes.
SONGS is located roughly 60 miles west of us and is built near an active earthquake fault. If a meltdown were to occur we could have as little as two hours to evacuate our beautiful mountain.
We urge our friends and neighbors on the Hill to join us in Dana Point next Tuesday, Oct. 9 when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold the first-ever hearing on SONGS that is open for public comment.
If there is a sizable turnout, the NRC will be more likely to heed the legitimate concerns of Southern California residents.
If SONGS is permanently decommissioned, it could start a movement toward closing down other nuclear plants around the country. Significant investment could then be channeled toward safer, cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy production.
Contrary to the claims made by the nuclear industry, nuclear power is neither clean nor cost effective. Without exorbitant subsidization, nuclear power would not exist. There are still no viable methods of safely disposing of nuclear waste. Continuing to generate it only adds to the heap of daunting problems that we are kicking down the road for future generations to resolve. And as these nuclear plants age, they become more prone to breakdown with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Finally, there is the very real concern of possible corruption within the regulatory process. Michael R. Peevey, the president of California’s Public Utilities Commission is a former president of SCE, the plant’s operator. He approved the installation of the flawed steam generators, and he has been stalling an investigation into what went wrong at the facility.
Until the plant is decommissioned ratepayers continue to pay $54 million a month for a plant that currently produces zero energy. Shouldn’t this financial nuclear waste be borne by SCE’s shareholders rather than by local ratepayers and taxpayers?
Let’s put forth our best effort to ensure that a horrible environmental and economic tragedy never occurs.
For more information on our plans for Oct. 9, visit www.thisisthis.com, or call Barnaby Finch at (951) 659-6003.
Lorel Cornman & Will Johnson
Karin & Richard Greenwood
Daniel & Melanie Manchester