Monday, August 29, 2011

Lessons Learned From Fukushima

Promised Public Meeting in Doubt?

“Lessons learned from Fukushima” was the topic suggested by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) at an annual public meeting held April 18 in the City of San Juan Capistrano. During the meeting, the public wanted to ask many questions about the recent events at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Much of the time for public input was restricted in the meeting controlled by the NRC. Basic concerns of the public like, "Could it happen here?" went largely unaddressed. Like Fukushima, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) sits at the ocean’s edge with known tsunami dangers and earthquake faults which exceed the nuclear power plant's design capacity.

In response, the San Clemente City Council offered to hold a public meeting dedicated to the topic suggested by NRC. Mayor Donchak proposed that a committee be formed to create a balanced meeting, including representatives from local environmental groups, but the suggestion was rejected by the City Council. Instead, the City Manager was assigned the task to gather questions from the public and to invite industry experts to participate. Representatives from Edison, the NRC and Emergency Planners all committed to participating. The NRC accepted the invitation until it became known that independent nuclear experts would also be invited. Even though the meeting was scheduled at the NRC's convenience, their attendance is now in doubt.

With the September 27th meeting less than a month away, City Manager George Scarborough has decided that there are to be two separate meetings unless the NRC is agreeable to the format and approves the list of independent experts that environmental groups have invited. Concerned citizen are being told that such a meeting would be too long and unmanageable, but the truth is that the NRC holds meetings of this sort on a regular basis with more participants in less time.

A coalition of environmental groups made up of San Clemente Green, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE), and Citizens for Responsible and Ethical Environmental Decisions (CREED), reject this conclusion. It totally undermines the intent of the meeting which is to provide the public with a more balanced and comprehensive understanding of the situation. It is also the meeting that has long been deferred to by the City Council when pressed to consider a Resolution proposed by the coalition to shut down SONGS until known safety concerns have been addressed. Creating a situation where experts with contrasting views must be separated into two meetings smacks of favoritism towards the industry and does the public a great disservice, especially considering the potential danger we all face.

The coalition is deeply concerned that public safety will be superseded by influence from the nuclear power industry, as was the case in Japan and recently suspected in our own country by various government agencies and representatives. Too much is at stake to allow this to take place and citizens need to stand up for their own protection. We call upon the press and the public to scrutinize this decision depriving us of a fair and balanced discussion. Honest dialog is the best way for public concerns to be addressed. All experts need to be represented at the public hearing to be held at the Community Center on September 27 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. We encourage anyone who shares our concerns to contact the City Manager and City Council.

George Scarborough

City Council

Thank You.

Gene Stone
Residents Organized For a Safe Environment (ROSE)
NUKES, TVA, Health & Safety, The NRC & the Nuclear Industry With Ann Harris

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Emergency Preparedness in San Clemente

Do You Live In The Zone?
Usually, when people think about "emergency preparedness", they think of armed survivalists or religious fundamentalists in compounds waiting for the end of the world with their sacks of rice and beans; or you may think of FEMA or the Red Cross swooping in to deliver aid to those affected by disaster. The idea of emergency preparedness is not one that is high on the list of priorities for those who believe in a "create your own reality" universe. After all, why would I prepare for something I don't want to happen? Won't that just create it? Many people I have spoken to on the subject feel that preparedness is fear based and not something that should be seriously considered if you are "truly spiritual".

I disagree. There are some very good reasons why we, as spiritually aware people, need to seriously consider emergency preparedness as part of our world service. As usual, I'm not pulling any punches here, and you may find some of what I have to say to be a bit intense. I feel it is crucial at this time to share this perspective. Take it on board or don't, as you feel called. :)

1. You can't share what you don't have. This is a true statement for healers, and for daily life. If you are depleted and have nothing to give, you can't do your work in the world. If you are filled with energy, you can easily give to others. Regarding emergencies, I've heard many people say things like "we'll all just pool our resources and make it together". That's a great concept. But, what resources are you going to be sharing? If no one has prepared, what resources there are will rapidly diminish and its all downhill from there. If you are prepared with food, water and emergency supplies, you will be in a position of being able to help others. If you aren't prepared, you will be putting much of your energy toward locating resources instead of aiding in recovery.

2. Preparedness is honoring the natural pulse of creation. Until very recently in human experience, we understood that nature has periods of plenty and periods of not-so-plenty. Harvest was followed by Winter, then followed again by spring and increasing resources. It astounds me that so many of the people I connect with no longer believe that honoring this cycle is necessary. Our habits of convenience and comfort are what have thrown the Earth out of balance and have created a false sense of the natural cycle of ebb and flow. Every indigenous culture that we claim to honor for their knowledge of living in balance with the Earth practices food and resource storage because they understand these pulses of nature. In order to live in balance with the planet, we need to honor this cycle once again and return to practices of harvesting in times of plenty and preparing that abundance for sharing in times of lack.

3. Love vs. Fear. When you are prepared, there is no reason to be scared. You know you have what is needed to meet basic needs, which means that you will be experiencing much less stress in an emergency situation. Stress causes massive damage to our physical and energetic bodies. It has been shown in clinical studies that people in states of stress do not think as clearly or make decisions that are as sound as those of people who are not in a physiological stress state. Stress makes people selfish, greedy and violent because it activates our animal physiology and our animal emotional nature. When you are not in stress, you make better decisions and are more likely to act with kindness, love and philanthropy.

4. Gardens take time to grow. If there should be some type of emergency that interrupts food supply chains, don't count on eating out of your garden anytime soon, unless it happens in the midst of your growing season. Anyone who has grown a garden knows its takes months before you can begin any kind of sustained harvest. Once harvest peaks and is gone by, you will still need other resources to process and preserve your harvest for the fallow time. In addition to storing organic, heirloom seeds, you will also want to think about canning jars and other ways to store the food you grow.You'll also want to think about what you would need to see you through until that harvest is available.

5. "If I don't focus on it and give it my energy, it won't happen". This is truly one of the most sophomoric applications of positive thinking I have encountered, and tantamount to saying "If you ignore a problem, it will go away". I do believe that we create our reality. And, there are almost 7 billion people on this planet at the moment, and every one of them is a Creator. Is it not rational to think that perhaps the creations of others can affect us as well, and that not everything is about me and my creations, but may be about us and our creations? Collectively? Isn't this where we are meant to be going right now?

If you believe that positive visualization will allow you to be insulated from discomfort, think on this: Out of the 7 billion people on Earth, there are currently 1 billion people in the world who are hungry or clinically starving. Do you truly think that those people are not focusing on and praying for food every moment of every day? Yet it doesn't fall out of the heavens for them or manifest on their doorsteps. Do you believe that your prayers and positive thinking in an emergency will cause the Universe to cough up resources to save you? The Universe provides us with a sense of what's coming so that we can prepare and not expect miracles to save us from our own poor choices.

Emergencies of all sizes and types happen all the time and are going to continue to occur with greater frequency in the immediate future. Ignoring that reality will not make it go away. A conscious application of positive thinking would be focusing on manifesting what is needed now. Not waiting until there is an emergency and trying to manifest your needs then. Even if you personally are not involved in an emergency, being prepared means that you have an instant way to assist those who are.

6. Personal Responsibility: This brings us to the point of personal responsibility. Are you creating a reality in which you have abundance and are able to share abundance? or are you creating a reality where you are in lack and everyone around you is in lack? If you are not living in balance with the pulse of Universal Creation, you are-- intentionally or unintentionally-- creating a situation where lack will prevail instead of abundance. You are ultimately responsible for yourself and your own needs-- and you are spiritually responsible to alleviate suffering where you find it. Ask yourself how those responsibilities translate to emergency situations and act accordingly.

7. Its not about survival. Its about assuming your role in supporting humanity through the shift. Preparedness is not necessarily about survivalism, though there are plenty of survivalists out there. I am prepared, but I don't fear death. I will die. That's a given. in fact, I personally look forward to it. I've been there and its a much better neighborhood than this one. So, fear of death isn't my driving motivation in practicing emergency preparedness. Its more important to me to consider how I am going to live. I have dedicated my life to serve. I don't practice preparedness because I am suddenly going to board up my windows and start shooting people who come for aid. In fact, in understanding human nature, I believe people are much more likely to go militant if they aren't prepared and are stressed by circumstances.

Everyone is talking about this incredible transformation humanity is undergoing. Yet, so few people seem prepared to actually have their reality change. Change inherently means there is a period of instability as the old is cleared and the new is prepared. Our lives are not going back to the way they were. Our social structures, economic structures, political structures, etc. are all in the process of transformation. Change brings a mandate for response-ability. How able are you to respond to sudden change? Will you be prepared to assist others through this shift as well?

8. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. If an emergency should happen and you are unprepared, you are going to be a drain on the resources of others. Expecting that someone else is going to save you when you chose not to take heed of prophecy, Earth signs, social signs and spiritual signs of impending shift means that you are consciously choosing to take from others instead of providing for yourself. "God helps those who help themselves" is an old saying that has been proven to me time and time again through my own experiences and spiritual practice. Spirit supports us and can even push us in a direction, but it can't make us act. That is where our own free will and personal character come into play. Spirit has shown us what is coming, indeed, it is already here. It is each person's responsibility to act accordingly.

9. What level of consciousness will govern the new reality? If the majority of people who are prepared for emergencies are militant or religious fundamentalist, what will that look like on the other side of the shift? Who will hold the new vision? Who will have influence? Something to think about. We need to ensure that a higher consciousness prevails by being in a position to share and cooperate with others. The most fundamental way to do that is to be prepared to offer assistance, comfort, Love and Spirit with any we can touch. Preparedness makes it much easier to be in a position to do that.

10. Enough= your own needs plus extra to share. You cannot truly be abundant unless you share. Focusing soley on your own needs will lead to fear and hoarding. Planning on how you will share during an emergency ensures an energy of abundance as well as its physical reality.

I came into this life knowing clearly that this time would come, and that it was my destiny to be here on the planet to assist in some way. Don't we all feel that way? Contribution is a primary part of spiritual belief in most philosophies. A large part of that contribution needs to be spiritually based positive visioning of a world in Peace and Plenty. The next part of that needs to be taking action to make that vision a reality. And, consider that some of that contribution may also need to be on a very practical level-- especially as the world shift intensifies. As we move through this change, being prepared for the moments of discomfort will allow us to hold a higher level of consciousness and be models of true abundance and grace through transformation.

I know these ideas will challenge some of you and will meet with some opposition, but I know in my heart it is time to come out and share this message so that those who are called will hear it and take action. Tune into the Earth and notice what you feel. Look around and see what is occurring. What do you feel you are being shown? Take action on your guidance and follow the truth of your heart.

Don't survive. Thrive. Share. And, Prepare.

guest post via Naisha Ahsian
How To Use Twitter As Part of Your Emergency Preparedness Strategy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

San Clemente Blocks Open Discussion On Nuke Safety

In God We Trust
For the last four months we have been working to organize a  public meeting in San Clemente for the NRC, Nuclear Regulatory Commission to share it's findings after the disaster in Fukushima and to  create a public forum to inform residents in a 100 miles area of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).

In an effort to make this meeting informative and balanced concerned groups such as ROSE, Residents Organized For Safe Environment, and San Clemente Green have requested their experts speak. Notable authorities such as Arnie Gunederson of Fairwinds Associates, an expert witness who has testified before Congress, Dan Hersh and others.

As soon as the NRC heard that Arnie Gundersun was coming the city manager decided to divide the meeting up into two days. Two days one week apart. The first meeting with NRC California Edison, the second day of course would be a chance for our experts to speak, one week later.

Of course the entire idea behind this meeting was to create a forum in which facts and science could be discussed in public by the experts. A chance for the public to decide. An experienced and independent moderator from the Women's League of Voters was offered to provide her services. This offer was declined.

So we are asking all of our friends in California who would like to see a fair and balanced approach to this meeting call the city manager and demand the meeting be held on one day so that people can hear both sides of this very important topic for our community and our state.

Leave a message if you have to.

The San Clemente City Manager is George Scarborough
Phone: (949) 361-8322

Gene Stone
Residents Organized For Safe Environment
(ROSE) 949-233-7724

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nuclear Power Earthquake Preparedness

Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to worry about aging nuclear power plants after an earthquake?
Get Involved!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fukushima Safety Fears

Five months after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan - work is still going on to clean up the stricken nuclear power station at Fukushima. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nuclear Waste is Forever

Spent fuel rods. Sounds pretty harmless. Sounds spent, as in used up, depleted, empty. But what I learned at the SONGS Open House on Tuesday August 15 at the San Clemente Community Center was that "spent" fuel rods are anything but harmless.

Fuel rods prior to the nuclear fission process are filled with uranium pellets. These rods are mildly radioactive and holding a rod for a short period of time will only result in a very low exposure. After the rods have been "spent" they become highly toxic and highly radioactive upon their removal from the reactor.

Let's illustrate how toxic. According to David Brower if you were to ride a motorcycle by a "spent" fuel rod at 90 miles per hour you would receive a lethal dose of radiation and be dead within three days.

And we have lots of spent fuel.
  • San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station accumulates this waste at the rate of 500 pounds per day. 
  • The waste has never been removed from the site and there are no plans to do so. 
  • This waste will be toxic to human beings and all organic life forms for approximately 300,000 years give or take a 1,000 years.
Is that clean?
Is that safe?

Because that means this waste also has to be kept safe for 300,000.

Safe from contaminating the environment.
Safe from human error.
Safe from terrorists.
Safe from natural disasters.
Safe from aging facilities.
Safe through changes in government.

What is the true cost in carbon and cash for keeping this spent fuel safe?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SONGS Open House San Clemente

Watching The Watchers
Last night at the Southern California Edison opened house (for the public) in San Clemente California, I was greeted by SCE employee Neil Johnson Security Specialist Corporate Investigations & Protective Services Corporate Security. A man who I've never met before but recognize me immediately came up to introduce himself as an attempt to intimidate me and then followed me around the whole evening every time I went into the event, and when I was outside passing out flyers he would come out and stand outside and watch. We had maybe 12 people there with there signs passing out information to the public. All 12 of us were over 50 yrs old, but along with California Edison security they saw fit to call six sheriffs to stand about 20 feet away and watch us. It is a sad state of affairs when the people who worked for southern California Edison couldn't answer our questions they tried to shuffle us outside. And when is it that science considers it enough that the CEO of Edison and one of their physicists kept repeating I don't feel there'll be an accident here. Since when is feelings part of science? It would seem logical that the scientist would not only figure out the process of nuclear energy but how to deal with the waste before they inflicted it upon the whole world. I'm sorry California Edison but when you said we have been working on solutions to these problems are 50 years, and we haven't got it yet but hope to get it figured out soon. I for one found no confidence in that kind of statement. That kind of logic causes accidents, 3 mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Simi Valley nuclear accident 1958.

 Gene Stone C.A.N.
Coalition Against Nukes.

SONGS Open House San Clemente

Monday, August 15, 2011

San Onofre Nuke Waste Sitting On An Earthquake Fault

No Nukes On Faultlines!

San Andreas?  It's too far away! The Big One?  Just a myth!  Create a big tsunami?  It's a land-based fault!  You've got a scientist?  We've got a scientist!

They can debate anything for years.  Ten years ago I was scoffed at for suggesting (or rather, for stating unequivocally) that Yucca Mountain would never open but it was why dry casks were introduced -- because they would be TEMPORARY.

Well, they aren't, and the dry casks are growing like weeds... very deadly weeds.  every 6 weeks or two months or so they produce enough crud for a new dry cask... Where's it going to go?  Our front yard!  Our beach!  And when The Big One hits, or half a big one closer by... game over.

It's a game.  A deadly game.  They keep telling us it's safe.  We keep arguing that it isn't.  Arguing gets us nowhere if all we do is argue.  Stopping the plant turns off the heat.  As deadly as dry casks are, an operating reactor is providing the heat the dry cask would need to "get going"... all the time.

And come to think of it, we haven't actually seen, at Fukushima or anywhere else, the worst of the worst... a complete rubblization of the core, for example... well, it occurs to me that the resultant explosion could do a number on the dry casks, which are, conveniently enough, right near by.  What we saw was bad, but by no means as bad as it gets!

And the NEI admitted today that PWRs like ours can do exactly what the BWRs in Fukushima did... of course, they didn't word it that way, but they admitted it.  It was in my paper this morning!

Okay, so the fuel has to be moved.  The plant has to be shut down.  What's to debate?  What expert will anyone present to debate these points?  After all, just because someone works for the NRC doesn't make them an expert in California earthquakes, aging of metals, worker morale, crane operation(!) or any of a million other things that lots of experts have already looked at -- and found nuclear power lacking safety standards even that would apply in any other factory in the state!  THAT's certainly backwards, but true!

Really, there IS no debate!  There IS no argument!  There is only greed, inertia, workers scared to lose their jobs, investors making money, and fools who don't know any better.

Perhaps 40+ years of following and taking part in these debates jades a man, but when the argument is for or against nuclear power, the real debate surely ended in Fukushima on March 11th, 2011.  After that, no reasonable person can/could/should/would back nuclear power.  Not that they could before, but... here we are.  Post-Fukushima and even the Nuclear Energy Institute is, in the most obtuse way possible, admitting it can happen right here at San Onofre, no doubt about it.

Statistically, they say it's very unlikely.  But even something that's very unlikely become inevitable over time (EVERY unstable atom eventually decays, and The Big One is coming, so eventually it will get here).  Year after year, they keep saying it's very unlikely.  One of these days -- and I admit it's unlikely to be tomorrow -- they'll be wrong.  We could make it impossible to be tomorrow, not just unlikely, but shutting the plant down and removing the waste.  We can at least make an accident vastly less likely by first and forever, shutting the plant down.


Ace Hoffman

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Senator Sanders Pathfinder For States Rights on Nuclear Energy

Watch Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont give the most compelling case for states rights to the NRC. Stating clearly NRC has the right to re-license power plants, but the state has the right to decide whether they want nuclear power in their state. Senator Sanders leading the way for the nuclear fight!

Gene Stone ROSE

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Anti- Nuclear Post-Fukushima Summit

For immediate release. August 8, 2011 

The day after the MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) anti-nuclear concert, more than 60 California groups met in San Mateo for the first statewide Anti- Nuclear post-Fukushima Summit. Participants committed to continuing work towards the shut-down of the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, both of which are immediately adjacent to major earthquake faults. In addition, summit members focused on energy conservation and clean, safe, renewable solutions to establish a nuclear-free California.

Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Redwood Alliance, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, Green Leap Forward, Women's Energy Matters, Peace and Freedom Party, Los Angeles Greens, Alliance for Survival, Sacred Sites Peacewalk For a Nuclear Free World, No Nukes on Fault's, Coalition For Responsible Ethical Environmental Decisions (CREED), San Clemente Green, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE) Veterans for Peace Chapter 162 East Bay San Francisco, No Nukes Caucus Veterans for Peace, Ecological Options Network (EON), & Greenpeace are just a few of the groups that attended the California Summit on Nuclear Energy in San Mateo California yesterday.

Join Us!

Gene Stone Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE)
(949) 233-7724