Wednesday, August 15, 2012

San Onofre Nuclear Disaster Preparedness List

The above video highlights some of the mistakes that were made prior to the ongoing Fukushima disaster that echo things being said about the San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station.

"By assuming that the severity or frequency would be less than they actually were, When one aims high and misses, people will still be protected, When one aims low and misses, people will pay a steep price. They only surprise is why we continue to aim low" The Union Of Concerned Scientists

If reality exceeds these unrealistic assumptions, such as an earthquake greater than design, or tsunami higher than design, you need to know how to protect yourself and your family.

What to do if you are exposed to radioactive particles from an accident at San Onofre.
  1. Radioactive ionic particles attach themselves to dust floating in the air. Therefore, it can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. If you are told to evacuate or bug in due to a nuclear disaster, keep the following points in mind:
  2. If you are driving, keep the car windows and vents closed, and use recirculating air.
  3. Due to the fear of panic and gridlock that will ensue from mass evacuations, most governments will delay mandatory evacuations until the last minute. This will only cause mass confusion and chaos at gas stations, grocery stores and on the streets. The best way to prevent this, is to stay ahead of the crowd and prepare ahead of time.
  4. If told to stay indoors, turn off the air conditioner and other air intakes and go to a basement. Seal basement windows and entrances to prevent fallout from getting inside. If you go outside, you will need to remove your outer clothing before coming inside the shelter.
  5. Likewise, creating a sealed area near the entrance of the shelter will prevent fallout dust from entering. Seal the entryway with blankets, bubble wrap or plastic sheeting to prevent the dust from coming in. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair. Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. Some experts suggest having a rain poncho to take on and off when you go outside.
  6. To go a step further, covering the windows wood, then sandbags followed by masonry bricks will create a multi-layered protection against you and radioactive particles.
  7. If you find yourself outdoors when a nuclear blast occurs, duck and cover for 2 minutes. You will first see a blinding light followed by tornado force winds and dangerous. When all danger is gone, seek shelter immediately. Remove your clothing at the door and place in a sealed plastic bag. You can remove 80% of the particles by removing your clothing. Showering immediately following exposure is another way to remove the remaining particles.
  8. If you have signs of radiation on skin soak in a tub of equal parts baking soda, apple cider vinegar and epsom salt. Skin brushing can be very beneficial, because the skin is a primary avenue for detoxification – scrub along with the lungs, kidneys, liver, and colon. An unused vegetable brush would be very helpful with this process.
  9. Getting caught out in the rain can also cause you to have more exposure to radioactive particles. If you do have to go out in the rain, completely cover yourself. Experts are suggesting that if your clothes get wet to take them off and seal them in a plastic bag, immediately shower and change clothing. (The detox bath solution and skin brushing would be good here. If radioactive materials get on your skin, burns and blistering can occur.Note: If you are exposed to radioactive particles, you will also need to get your urine tested for traces of cessium at your local medical center.
  10. When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets are available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, such as a tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
  11. For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure.
  12. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml.
  13. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly.
  14. When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also have near your shelter fire extinguishers and additional tools, building supplies, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.
  15. Do not use the telephone unless absolutely necessary. Staying on the phone will congest phone lines making it impossible for others in your area to make or receive calls. (USE TWITTER!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Congressional Briefing On Nuclear Safety

I am calling because of my concerns over the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear waste in this country. After the worst ongoing nuclear disaster in human history at Fukushima, a growing group of U.S. citizens have come together to address concerns involving our own aging and decrepit fleet of 104 nuclear reactors.

They have arranged a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill, on Thurs, Sept. 20th, from 2 – 4 pm in the Cannon Building, Room 121.

Presenters will include experts from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Beyond Nuclear, the Nuclear Information and Resource Services, and others and will provide members of Congress with the most up-to-date knowledge on issues from nuclear waste to nuclear safety.

As a constituent, I am asking that (Rep or Sen) _______ attend this Congressional Briefing or send an aide to hear this expert testimony.

Once again the Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill is on Thurs, Sept. 20th, from 2 – 4 pm in the Cannon Building, Room 121.

May I count on the attendance of (Rep or Sen)______ or one of (his/her) aides at this briefing?
Hello ___(Aide’s name)___, My name is ___, I am a constituent of (Rep or Sen) ___.

ACTION ALERT: We need you to call your Representative today!
Find your Congresperson at:

Ask your rep to watch this video by Daniel Hirsch, a Lecturer in Nuclear Policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the former Director of the Stevenson Program on Nuclear Policy at UCSC. Hirsch is also President of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a forty-year-old nonprofit organization working to reduce risks of nuclear accident, nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and problems of radioactive waste disposal. Shortly after the Fukushima accident began, Hirsch was asked to testify before the Select Committee on Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery of the California Senate on the implications of the disaster for the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre reactors.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

NRC Freezes All Nuclear Reactor Construction & Operating Licenses In U.S.

Decision Follows 24 Groups' June Petition in Wake of Major Waste Confidence Rule Decision; Most Reactor Projects Already Stymied by Bad Economics and Cheaper Fuel Alternatives

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acted today to put a hold on at least 19 final reactor licensing decisions – nine construction & operating licenses (COLS), eight license renewals, one operating license, and one early site permit – in response to the landmark Waste Confidence Rule decision of June 8th by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The NRC action was sought in a June 18, 2012 petition filed by 24 groups urging the NRC to respond to the court ruling by freezing final licensing decisions until it has completed a rulemaking action on the environmental impacts of highly radioactive nuclear waste in the form of spent, or 'used', reactor fuel storage and disposal.

In hailing the NRC action, the groups also noted that most of the U.S. reactor projects were already essentially sidetracked by the huge problems facing the nuclear industry, including an inability to control runaway costs, and the availability of far less expensive energy alternatives.

Diane Curran, an attorney representing some of the groups in the Court of Appeals case, said: "This Commission decision halts all final licensing decisions -- but not the licensing proceedings themselves -- until NRC completes a thorough study of the environmental impacts of storing and disposing of spent nuclear fuel. That study should have been done years ago, but NRC just kept kicking the can down the road. When the Federal Appeals Court ordered NRC to stop and consider the impacts of generating spent nuclear fuel for which it has found no safe means of disposal, the agency could choose to appeal the decision by August 22nd or choose to do the serious work of analyzing the environmental impacts over the next few years. With today's Commission decision, we are hopeful that the agency will undertake the serious work."

Lou Zeller, executive director of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, another petitioner to the Court, said: said: "It appears that the Commissioners have, at least initially, grasped the magnitude of the Court's ruling and we are optimistic that it will set up a fundamentally transparent, fair process under the National Environmental Policy Act to examine the serious environmental impacts of spent nuclear fuel storage and disposal prior to licensing or relicensing nuclear reactors."

Former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford said: "It is important to recognize that the reactors awaiting construction licenses weren't going to be built anytime soon even without the Court decision or today's NRC action. Falling demand, cheaper alternatives and runaway nuclear costs had doomed their near term prospects well before the recent Court decision. Important though the Court decision is in modifying the NRC's historic push-the-power-plants-but-postpone-the-problems approach to generic safety and environmental issues, it cannot be blamed for ongoing descent into fiasco of the bubble once known as 'the nuclear renaissance'."

In June, the following groups filed the petition with the NRC:Beyond Nuclear, Inc. (intervenor in Fermi COL proceeding, Calvert Cliffs COL proceeding, and Davis-Besse license renewal proceeding; potential intervenor in Grand Gulf COL and Grand Gulf license renewal proceedings); Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Inc. and chapters ("BREDL") (intervenor in Bellefonte COL proceeding and North Anna COL proceeding; previously sought intervention in W.S. Lee COL proceeding); Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, Inc. (former intervenor in Turkey Point COL proceeding); Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Inc. (intervenor in Fermi COL proceeding and Davis-Besse license renewal proceeding); Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (intervenor in Fermi COL proceeding); Don't Waste Michigan, Inc. (intervenor in Fermi COL proceeding and Davis-Besse license renewal proceeding); Ecology Party of Florida (intervenor in Levy COL proceeding); Eric Epstein (potential intervenor in Bell Bend COL proceeding); Friends of the Earth, Inc. (potential intervenor in reactor licensing proceedings throughout U.S.); Friends of the Coast, Inc. (intervenor in Seabrook license renewal proceeding); Green Party of Ohio (intervenor in Davis-Besse license renewal proceeding); Dan Kipnis (intervenor in Turkey Point proceeding); National Parks Conservation Association, Inc. (intervenor in Turkey Point COL proceeding); Mark Oncavage (intervenor in Turkey Point COL proceeding); Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Inc. (Petitioner in Callaway license renewal proceeding; intervenor in suspended Callaway COL proceeding) New England Coalition, Inc. (intervenor in Seabrook license renewal proceeding); North Carolina Waste Reduction and Awareness Network, Inc. (admitted as an Intervenor in now-closed Shearon Harris COL proceeding); Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Inc. (intervenor in Calvert Cliffs COL proceeding and Levy COL proceeding); Public Citizen, Inc. (intervenor in South Texas COL proceeding; admitted as intervenor in now-closed Comanche Peak COL proceeding; potential intervenor in South Texas license renewal proceeding); San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Inc. (intervenor in Diablo Canyon license renewal proceeding); Sierra Club, Inc. (Michigan Chapter) (intervenor in Fermi COL proceeding); Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Inc. (intervenor in Watts Bar Unit 2 OL proceeding, Turkey Point COL proceeding, Bellefonte COL proceeding; former intervenor in Bellefonte CP proceeding); Southern Maryland CARES, Inc. (Citizens Alliance for Renewable Energy Solutions) (intervenor in Calvert Cliffs COL proceeding); Sustainable Energy and Economic Development ("SEED") Coalition, Inc. (intervenor in South Texas COL proceeding; admitted as intervenor in now-closed Comanche Peak COL proceeding; potential intervenor in South Texas license renewal proceeding).

The 24 groups that sponsored the June 18th petition will strategize in September regarding next steps.

On June 8th, the Court threw out the NRC rule that permitted licensing and re-licensing of nuclear reactors based on the supposition that (a) the NRC will find a way to dispose of spent reactor fuel to be generated by reactors at some time in the future when it becomes "necessary" and (b) in the mean time, spent fuel can be stored safely at reactor sites.

The Court noted that, after decades of failure to site a repository, including twenty years of working on the now-abandoned Yucca Mountain repository, the NRC "has no long-term plan other than hoping for a geologic repository." Therefore it is possible that spent fuel will be stored at reactor sites "on a permanent basis." Under the circumstances, the NRC must examine the environmental consequences of failing to establish a repository when one is needed.

The Court also rejected NRC's decision minimizing the risks of leaks or fires from spent fuel stored in reactor pools during future storage, because the NRC had not demonstrated that these future impacts would be insignificant. The Court found that past experience with pool leaks was not an adequate predictor of future experience. It also concluded that the NRC had not shown that catastrophic fires in spent fuel pools were so unlikely that their risks could be ignored.

SOURCE Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Knoxville, TN