Thursday, May 31, 2012

Environmental Groups Demand Answers

CONTACT: Gary Headrick, San Clemente Green – 949 412 3366; Gene Stone, ROSE, San Clemente – 949 233 7724
Decades-Long Seismic Risk at San Onofre           Exposes Failures of Edison & NRC –Environmental Groups Demand Answers
WASHINGTON, May 30 – For nearly three decades, more than 8 million people within 50 miles of the San Onofre nuclear plant have been living with a previously unknown and significant threat to the safety of their communities due to flawed safety equipment and lax oversight. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission revealed yesterday that emergency diesel generators, required to power the San Onofre nuclear plant in case electrical power is lost, risked being shut down following an earthquake – a problem only discovered two months ago.Local environmental organizations in Southern California have today sent a letter to the NRC demanding answers from both the commission and the nuclear plant operator, Southern California Edison. The letter was signed by Residents Organized for a Safe Environment, San Clemente Green and San Onofre
Southern Californians were stunned to learn that the NRC failed for three decades to examine the impact of an earthquake on the high frequency sensors in the reactors’ emergency backup generators. Edison informed the NRC on May 14 of the discovery that the possibility that a seismic event may cause sensors to shutdown the emergency diesel generators, and that this had not been considered during license assessments for the plant. The Edison document is available here.
Upon discovering the issue, the sensors were immediately turned off, indicating significant concerns regarding the threat these sensors posed to the safety of the reactors. This flaw could have triggered the shutdown of the backup generators following an earthquake. Coupled with an extended loss of offsite power, a valid concern in the earthquake-prone region, failure of the backup generators would cut off essential cooling to both the reactor cores and the spent fuel pools.
The failure of the emergency diesel generators at the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear plant in March 2011 led within a few hours to the start of the meltdown of the nuclear fuel in reactor core in unit 1.
“The failure of the NRC to examine earthquake impacts on critical safety equipment at San Onofre for three decades – a nuclear plant located next to major seismic fault lines – is completely unacceptable,” said Gary Headrick of San Clemente Green, “Community members deserve an explanation from the NRC for this safety failure.”
The San Onofre nuclear plant has been shut down since January following a steam generator tube rupture in Unit 3, which released radioactive steam, and the discovery of excessive wear in the tubes of both units. The steam generators in both operating units had been replaced less than two years ago.
Three technical studies commissioned by Friends of the Earth have detailed the major design changes that have led to the severe damage to the steam generators. <link to reports>. The NRC and Edison are due to report on the failures at San Onofre in the coming weeks.
The misleading information provided Edison regarding the steam generator replacements has raised significant concerns regarding the transparency and safety culture of the operators of San Onofre. The admission that essential emergency diesel generators at San Onofre could be switched off exactly when they are required following an earthquake further highlights the risks of continued operation of the crippled reactors.
The Letter to the NRC: May 31, 2012
Chairman Gregory Jaczko
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, D.C. 20555-0001
Dear Chairman,
We were stunned to learn recently that for nearly three decades the San Onofre nuclear reactors have been operating with inherently flawed backup emergency diesel generators, flaws that could have caused these generators to shut down as a result of a major earthquake. According to documents submitted to the NRC on May 14th of this year by Southern California Edison, the operator of the San Onofre plant, the affect of a major seismic event on the high frequency sensors that would trigger the shutdown of the backup generators had not been analysed. Upon discovering this issue, the sensors were immediately turned off, indicating significant safety concerns.
Allowing the San Onofre nuclear reactors, located directly next to major fault lines, to operate with such fundamental safety issue unexamined for three decades is a dramatic failure on the part of the Commission. The loss of both offsite and onsite power, or station blackout, is the very condition that led to the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima-daiichi. As you are aware the seismic vulnerability of nuclear reactors has become an even more urgent issue in the aftermath of the Fukushima-daiichi accident. We are well aware of your particular concerns in this area. Tuesday’s news underscores the need for immediate and urgent action.
This critical safety flaw, only now revealed, posed an unacceptable risk to the 8 million people who live within 50 miles of the San Onofre nuclear plant and the untold numbers that would be affected by radioactive fallout from a catastrophic accident at this plant. We are writing today to demand a public explanation from the NRC as to how the Commission could fail so drastically to fulfil its responsibility to our families, our communities, and the citizens of this country to ensure the safety of San Onofre.
This critical problem with the emergency backup generators, and the astounding amount of time before the issue came to light, is but one example of the perfunctory oversight and pervasive lack of safety culture within the NRC and the nuclear industry.
The San Onofre nuclear reactors have been offline for four months due to the rupture of tubes in the recently replaced steam generators. Southern California Edison presented this as a like-for-like replacement, and the Commission rubber-stamped the licensing. Had the NRC examined these replacement steam generators, it would have uncovered significant modifications of the original design that led to their failure and the release of radioactive steam less than two years after installation.
This lack of adequate oversight not only poses a threat to our communities, but has come at a cost of $670.8 million. We, as ratepayers, have been forced to foot the bill for these critically-flawed steam generators. Although Southern California Edison also shares in the responsibility to adequately maintain and evaluate the safety of the San Onofre plant, it is your responsibility to hold them accountable.
We are deeply concerned about the lack of transparency and disregard for safety on the part of Southern California Edison and that the NRC has failed in its responsibility to ensure the safety of San Onofre. We find it unacceptable that we have been living with this unknown threat for decades.
We look forward to your timely response to our concerns.
Yours sincerely,
Gene Stone
Founder ROSE
Residents Organized for a Safe Environment.
Donna Gilmore
Communications director
San Onofre Safety
Gary Headrick,
San Clemente Green

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Activist from Japan Ms. Chieko Shiina to visit CA.

Ms. Chieko Shiina
ROSE is once again joining with No Nukes Action Committee, Peace Resource Center of SD and other groups who will bring one of the top anti-nuclear activists in Japan to the U.S. this summer for a 10 day trip across CA to help us in our effort to shutdown C's two nuclear reactors. She will be stopping in several cities to share her story with us. She will stop in San Clemente & SD.

ROSE & PEACE RESOURCE CENTER OF SD will donate $500 each to this effort. If you would like to match one or both of these first two donations please contact me asap. Any amount will be appreciated and very helpful.

Umi Hagitani will act as interpreter and driver. So we will need one plane ticket, car rental and gas, food money and either money for motels or a place for them to stay. I will let everyone know the dates when they are firmed up.

Inviting Ms. Chieko Shiina will be the next crucial step to advance this already established international coalition into California-state or even national level organizing because she is one of the most powerful organizers from Fukushima. Being a youth activist in famers' and students' organizing for land issues and fight against US-Japan Peace treaty, she is an experienced activist who understands the mechanism and the legacy of nuclear renaissance in relation to multinational militaries in the context of East Asian politics. She was a dedicated organic farmer in Kawamata village of Fukushima before March 11th. Since Kawamata is in 40 miles radius of Fukushima Daiichi, the whole village was recommended to evacuate, and the place is still a no-go zone. She became anti-nukes organizer since then, touring commngunities all over Japan to help support local organizing against nukes. One of her major contributions to Japan's national anti-nukes organizing is that she organized the sit-in in front of the Ministry of Economy and Industry from September 11th, 2011. Further, she organized 100 women from Fukushima to set up "Women's 10 months and 10 days sit-in" from late October, which later became both a symbolic and physical space where women from all over Japan came to communicate and organize. Her previous experience in organizing in different issues also helped making coalition among anti-base, anti-poverty, pro-labor, pro-farmer resistance. This sit-in is also now known as Occupy Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, which Occupy Berkeley group made alliance with. Given that, she will be a good support for organizing against nuclear weapons in California, and a bridge to connect the emerging coalition between anti-nukes struggle and occupy movement.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nuclear Free Cal (NFC) Press Release May 27

Representatives of more than 25 anti-nuclear activist and energy sustainability organizations gathered in San Clemente, California on Sunday, May 27, to discuss strategy and plan actions against nuclear power operations in California and to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency solutions. The coalition, meeting for the fifth time since Fukushima, is determined to continue the fight to stop San Onofre from operating this summer and beyond, with the understanding that excess energy already exists in the state to cover our needs.

Key among the issues discussed were the problems at the San Onofre nuclear power facility near San Clemente, which has been shut down since January 31 because of ongoing problems with the steam generators and safety issues. Other San Onofre issues include the facility having the worst safety record in the US, being located in an active earthquake/tsunami zone, lack of safe long term storage for high level nuclear waste, and no realistic evacuation plan.
A growing network of independent crowd-source radiation monitoring by concerned citizens around the state is being implemented to counteract the ongoing lack of information provided by California utilities about radiation levels. Gene Stone of Residents Organized for a Safe Environment, a San Clemente-area group, said, “Our work together is strengthening our bond and reinforcing our determination to see this issue through to end nuclear power in California once and for all, and make this state embrace the 21st Century solutions of clean, safe, renewable energy.”
The activists, who came from locations from San Francisco to San Diego, heard from Barbara George of Women’s Energy Matters a detailed breakdown on the opportunity for local communities to wrest control of their energy supply from the large utilities. Opportunities do exist for local cities to take control of their local energy supply and end the dominance of the major utilities: Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Future plans by the network include: stepping up efforts against San Onofre, hosting visitors from Japan traveling throughout California to raise awareness of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, and building alliances with national and international environmental groups.
The statewide meeting was hosted by Residents Organized for a Safe Environment, and the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, Friends of the Earth.


Gene Stone, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment — 949-233-7724
Carol Jahnkow, San Diego Peace Resource Center – 760-390-0775

Today Nuclear Free California Network Summit

The NFC Network Summit will take place at Irons in the Fire Restaurant at 150 East Avenida Magdalena San Clemente, Ca 92672 starting at 10am sharp, ending at 4pm sharp. A vegetarian lunch will be served around 1pm. You may want to have a little something before you come to hold you till lunch. If you are coming and have not rsvp please do so asap so I get the count right for lunch.
Nuclear Free California Network Meeting
May 27, 2012
Lunch 1-1:45 p.m.

Welcome--Carol and Gene    5 minutes, cosponsors are SD Peace Resource Center, Friends of the Earth, ROSE.
Ask for notetaker, timekeeper

Friends of the Earth—Importance of working together & how FOE will work w/us. 15 minutes
Intros—individuals and groups – Marylia Kelley meeting facilitator 20 minutes
NFC Network Business: 
            Unfinished business from last meeting 15- 30 minutes
            New business  15 minutes
Volunteer Monitoring Network—Ace, Bill, Darin 30 minutes
                        Bill –technology
                        Ace and Bill—monitoring lesson
                        Darin—technology of putting all info on one website
City Councils Update—Gary Headrick  10 minutes
Community Choice and Conservation Money—Barbara George 30 minutes
(20 presentations/15 minutes questions)
Net Metering—Eon/Mary Beth 15 minutes plus questions

Kimberly Roberson will bring us up to date on Radiation in our food 10 minutes

Action Plans

            Statewide Bus Action to Sacramento—Gene and Marcia   15 minutes
            Fukushima Activist Tour in July—Steve and Umi   30 minutes

            Epidemiological Study—Mel   10 minutes
            How to remove barriers to using local renewables—how to motivate our            communities—Barbara 20 minutes
Meeting Sum-up 60 minutes, Issue Press release for group signup
Visit San Onofre site after meeting closes for those who want to go.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

San Onofre Tsunami Worst Case Scenario

The San Onofre Tsunami Wall, Built for a wave 14 feet over mean low tide. 

The projected worst case scenario for a tsunami in Southern California is a 10-12m run-up, or approximately 40 foot change in mean sea level. - Dana Point Tsunami Brochure.pdf

Did Edison not get the memo? You will know when they have learned from Fukushima, when they start building a real tsunami wall to protect San Onofre.

Friday, May 18, 2012

San'O Beach Rocks Catch Fire in Lady's Pants

San Onofre Surfers
Today, there's no disputing Trestles Surf Beach, and it's iconic surf mentor; San Onofre Surfing Beach (together form 7-miles of perfect, wild & wonderful world-class surfing waves, from San Clemente CA's southern border, occupying the northern 1/3rd of Camp Pendleton Marine Base's 18-mile undeveloped coastline), are now the certifiably, undisputed, hottest two surf spot on the planet, bar none, as of May 16. 2012. How hot? So hot, the rocks on the beach catch fire. Really. Google Beach Rocks Catch Fire in Lady's Pants. You'll see.

How could beach rocks catch fire? Because Trestles and San Onofre are HOT!!!, duh. But what makes beach rocks hot there? Hot enough to catch fire (yikes), and no where else on the planet's gazillion miles of rocky coastlines? Hmm, could it be the presence of a leaky, creaky nuclear power plant, combined with a 200-square mile 75-year old military training facility - both right there, with both facilities dumping no end of radiated water, spent and unspent military ordinances into that ocean everyday nonstop, for a combined 100-years? If the rocks on the beach catch fire, how are the fish doing? How are the surfers doing? How is the ocean doing? No need to bring matches to Trestles. Just rub two rocks together.

In 1969, Ohio's Cuyahoga River caught fire, setting the standard for really stupid human neglect of our environment. On May 16, 2012, Trestles and San Onofre set a new scary standard for human mistreatment of our oceans. Because when rocks on the beach ignite, we're in serious trouble neighbor.

Jerry Collamer
San Clemente
Ca - 92672

Thursday, May 17, 2012

San Onofre Action Alert May 23rd in Irvine

We will have a rally and Press Conference on May, 23 4 to 6pm in Irvine at 14555 Bake St. which is in between Cromwell and Trabucco to delivery our letter to SCE , . Please bring you signs and banners. This action is being taken in SF & SD as well as in Irvine. There is free guest parking right in front of the employee parking lot on the Bake st side of the street.

The will go something like this & more. "Now that both reactors are down and it doesn't look safe to re start them we want to know why the almost 1/2 a billions that was to be used for energy efficiency & conservation programs is still sitting in the bank? With San Onofre shutdown this money should be spend on more meaningful programs than light bulbs, if SCE had a real and effective program for rebates on air conditioners, the energy savings this summer during peak energy periods could prevent any foreseeable problems in the coming months." You will get a copy of the letter as well when it is done.

Thanks and hope to see many of you there

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bad Vibrations San Onofre Exposed

In conclusion, the NRC has stated that nuclear power plants like San Onofre cannot risk compromising critical safety systems and possible radiological contamination in an effort to return to operation before a thorough root cause analysis, modifications, and subsequent repairs are adequately reviewed by the NRC and implemented. Historical evidence has proven that power reductions do not solve underlying and serious degradation problems, resonance frequency issues. Rather, power reductions can significantly increase the risk of unplanned, forced outages during times of peak demand and can cause significant risk to public health in the event of a single tube rupture or a series of ruptures if the main steam line were to break.

Finally, if a steam-­‐line accident were to occur, vibrationally induced tube damage at San Onofre could cause an inordinate amount of radioactivity to be released outside of the containment system compromising public health and safety in one of the most heavily populated areas in the entire United States.

Read the entire report here 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nuclear Free Cal Network Summit May 27, 2012

The next Nuclear Free Cal Network Summit will be in San Clemente on May 27th on Sunday at 10am to 4pm if you want to join us. RSVP please, cosponsored by ROSE, Peace Resource Center of SD, and Friends of the Earth. Only a few seats left for more info contact me asap!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fukushima Truth And Future

Fukushima Daiichi: The Truth and the Future

As part of a presentation in Kansai, Japan on May 12th 2012, Maggie and Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education answers specific questions asked by symposium organizers regarding the condition of the spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4. Fairewinds analyzes the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3. Also, Arnie discusses what the future may hold for Japan if it chooses a path without nuclear power.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

James Patton Darin R. McClure Interview Notes

Yesterday I was interviewed by Jim Patton the Main Anchor / Reporter at San Diego 6 News. We went all over the San Onofre topic, way beyond what is going on at the Concordia Elementary School here in San Clemente,

Here are a few of the topics we covered.

New health study for those living next to San Onofre,
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it has asked the National Academy of Sciences to do a “state-of-the-art study on cancer risk for populations surrounding nuclear power facilities.” via @OCReggie the old study used county-wide data to reach conclusions - a blunt instrument that may again downplay the impact on those living closest to a reactor. (Residents in La Habra and San Clemente live in the same county – but few will argue that their exposure to San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is the same.)

High levels of radiation here in Corona Del Mar kelp.
These 131I levels represent a significant input into the kelp forest ecosystem. via @uscweb

What do I want from Concordia Elementary anyway?
I was asked if I had read, "What would happen to our kids in event of a nuclear melt down at San Onofre?" via CAPOUSD (sorry but this is not Readiness) I want to know where would I pick up my kids in case of an evacuation. How would I find this information if there were an emergency?

Public Real Time Radiation Monitoring in San Clemente
Special thanks to Creative Electron for using as a beta tester of their product. Without the @iRadgeiger the closest public, real time radiation monitoring would be in Anaheim.

What is going on at San Onofre? 
Get the truth from Dan Hirsch, the man whos students found that the worst nuclear accident in US history is right here in Southern California, speaking at the San Onofre Shutdown rally, April 29, 2012.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Keep San Onofre Closed FOREVER!

Rally to Shut San Onofre / A short film by @AceHoffman

Guest speakers:
Daniel Hirsch -- Committee to Bridge the Gap 
Larry Agran - Irvine City Council 
Cathy Iwane - American who lived for 25 years in Japan

Other Speakers Included: Gene Stone -- MC, Ray Lutz, Libbe Halevy -- Speaker & co-MC, Mel Vernon, Tribal chair, San Luis Rey Band of Luiseno Indians -- Blessing 
Ace Hoffman, Cori Schumacher, Chrystal Coleman, Shaun Burine, Gary Headrick 

Music graciously provided by Charlie Imes and Reverend Stickman, The Occupellas

Sponsors/endorsers of the rally included:
Congressman Bob Filner, CA-51 
Citizens Oversight Projects (COPS) 
Peace Resource Center of San Diego 
Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE) 
San Onofre Safety (SOS) 
San Clemente Green 
San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice (SDCPJ) 
Occupy Encinitas 
Occupy Escondido 
Talk Nukes 
Mimi Kennedy, National Chair, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and Actress 
Bryan Pease, Esq., San Diego City Council District 1 Candidate 
Kevin Keenan, Esq.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Respect Responsibility Readiness

Respect Responsibility & Readiness ... 

so began the 5th grade trimester awards here in San Clemente, with the 3 R's of Concordia Elementary. But I digress, this story started the Friday before. Seems there was a fire that afternoon at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant just 2 miles away.  Over the school loudspeaker kids, k-5, were told to report to their classrooms and to remain there. Once back in their classrooms the smart kids asked that the windows be closed ... 

That day we picked up our children as usual and went home.  Monday came, no notice, no email about what happend, or what would happen next, Tuesday, still nothing.  We have a school that will send out an email or a note home when the children have head lice, (seems the 4th grade is having a serious infection this year). Wednesday found me sitting at the principles desk searching for answers. 

Dave Gerhard, Principal of Concordia Elementary told me that he had called the school and asked for the kids to go back to their classes in case they had to notify the teachers about a "Shelter in Place" or "Evacuate" order. When asked by me why no notice was sent out he told me that the school district by the way of Mike Beekman had decided that an email or a flyier home was not needed because only 5-6 concerned parents called the San Onofre Nuke Plant to see what was going on.  Why would this be a factor I wondered out loud? Personally I think 5-6 parents calling is a significant number. I asked Mr Gehard to please send out a notification, & he did 2 hours later to a list serve apparently I and many other parents are not on. Some Concordia parents got this message, some did not.

What I have always loved about this school is the implementation of "ConnectED" or a "Connected Education" to learning, there are rain barrels to capture the rain, butterfly gardens to feed the Monarch butterflies that our San Clemente has started to become famous for. There is even a full whale fossil on campus. All of these things are brought into our children's education as they are happening. They are connecting what is going on in the real world with what is going on in the classroom. 

I asked Principle Gerhard, What does "Shelter in place or Evacuation" mean to me or my child?

When he let me know that the school was thinking of having a representative from San Onofre put on something  I let Mr. Gerhert know they were not on the top of my list of corporations we should be trusting.  The recent nuke leak they lied about, falsifying fire reports, misleading the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on recent upgrades and documented problems with their safety culture.  His words gave me a chilling effect that went up my spine. 

So here it goes, I would want to see from our school is an answer to the 3 R's.

Respect the dangers of the Nuclear Power Plant and keep the parents involved and educated. Before this fire incident there was also a leak at the plant. Parents in San Juan Capistrano were notified by telephone of the leak. The plant is currently offline because of mechanical failures and unusual wear of parts recently replaced. These are all things the parents should be notified of.

You have Responsibility for our children and not to Southern California Edison, the owners and operators of the San Onofre Nuclear plant.

Readiness is knowing what would have been expected of us next. If this were a "real evacuation" what would happen? Where would we go to pick up our children? What is the plan?

What could happen down at that fossil 2 miles south of Concordia? Watch this video to connect the news to your education.