Sunday, March 30, 2014

SCE Cited For Major Nuclear Related Safety Violation At San Onofre

Get SCE Out of San Onofre
Background: NRC Spent Fuel Pool Cooling Requirements:

“Each licensee shall develop and implement guidance and strategies intended to maintain or restore core cooling, containment, and spent fuel pool cooling capabilities under the circumstances associated with loss of large areas of the plant due to explosions or fire ….”

The San Onofre spent fuel cooling fire protection plan in the event of a large fire and/or explosion hinges on the expertise and staffing of the on-sight San Onofre Fire Department.

Since the San Onofre Fire Department and Emergency Planning Personnel Staffing was reduced to a skeleton crew without prior approval from the NRC after a full and proper evaluation, the existing fire plan is now outdated and unrealistic in event of a large fire or explosion.

A Spent Fuel Pool Cooling Accident, in case of a large fire or explosion without adequate and demonstrated mitigation measures is a MAJOR Nuclear Safety Concern for all the millions of Southern Californians living within the 10 Mile Emergency Protection Zone.  Remember Fukushima's triple meltdowns occurred because of a failure to keep their reactors cool after the big earth quake and tsunami which occurred on 03/11/11.

Last Friday, the NRC cited SCE, the operator of San Onofre's nuclear power plant for violating NRC rules by failing to get approval before eliminating 39 emergency-response jobs after the plant closed last year.

Historically, NRC Region IV has had the habit of citing Southern California Edison with only low level violations, even if the violations were actually severe violations.  This cozy relationship was a contributing factor in the radioactive leak that resulted in the early decommissioning of San Onofre Units 2 & 3 and the loss of billions of dollars to SoCal ratepayers that could have been prevented, if the NRC had enforced the Federal Regulations as written.  This type of safety enforcement is not good for Californians or the NRC.  Now a serious review/investigation and proper action/fines are required by the NRC and its Commissioners, to assure Nuclear Safety is maintained at San Onofre and all the other US Nuclear Power Plants.

The question the NRC should ask is, "Knowing that the SPENT FUEL POOLS MUST STILL BE KEPT COOL 24/7 no matter what, if a major earth quake occurred tonight, would San Onofre Fire Dept.'s skeleton crew be able to guarantee US that they could prevent a nuclear accident from occurring, especially since the 39 emergency-response positions that were illegally eliminated, probably cost ratepayers much less than even one still employed highly paid nuclear manager who would be home sleeping?  

The question that the CPUC should ask is, "If SEC is really interested in safety as they keep telling us, what is the reasonableness of continually cutting corners on those that actually insure our safety, while at the same time retaining other highly paid nuclear Staff?
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