Sunday, April 29, 2012

Action Letter to Gov Brown

Governor Jerry Brown
C/O State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Brown,
We are looking for your support to keep California’s two nuclear power plants SHUTDOWN FOR GOOD.  Here are just a few reasons why:
2.      The problem with the steam generators at San Onofre were caused by Southern California Edison’s upgrades (NOT LIKE FOR LIKE) with the increase of 400 tubes to increase profits, which in turn has put over 8.4 million people at a much greater risk of a NUCLEAR DISASTER in the 50 mile radius.  This will severely damage the world’s eighth largest economy, California.
3.      These two plants could not be built under today’s rules and guidelines for earthquakes and tsunamis, and the NRC will not force the power companies to meet the standards of today; yet they will overlook and easily relicense them.
4.      Evacuation plans are totally ineffective if a nuclear disaster occurs in conjunction with a severe earthquake.
5.      This week California's people and the state's vibrant economy were fortunate enough to live in a state with not one operating nuclear reactor. Both San Onofre and Diablo Canyon were shut down. The lights stayed on. Together with energy efficiency and an almost unlimited renewable energy potential in California, the State can become a world leader in energy for the 21st century; while at the same time achieving the essential reduction in carbon emissions. California will fail to meet this truly sustainable future while it continues to operate nuclear power. This week because of the nuclear crisis at San Onofre and the intervention of jellyfish at Diablo Canyon, California saw the future; and it is a future we demand. KEEP CALIFORNIA’S NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS CLOSED.

Your name_____________________________________________________________________________________
In support of this action are: Peace Resource Center of San Diego, , Citizens Oversight Committee, San Clemente Green, San Onofre Safety, Women's Energy Matters, Stop Fukushima Coalition,  SF-Bay Area Chapter, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles,  The Ecological Options Network (EON), Friends of the Earth, (ROSE) Residents Organized for a Safe Environment contact at:

Thursday, April 26, 2012


No I Did Not.

Subject: Pirncipal's Info Bulletin
Date: April 25, 2012 11:20:43 AM PDT
To: "Concordia ListServe" <>

Concordia Elementary School

Dear Parents,

As you may be aware, on the afternoon of Friday, April 20, the Capistrano Unified School District received an “unusual event” notification from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).  Following the protocol outlined in the SONGS Emergency Response Plan, the District immediately shared this notification with all of the schools within the power plant’s Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ).  When an unusual event is declared at the plant, CUSD schools within the EPZ are directed to prepare to evacuate or shelter in place.

Upon receiving this notification at approximately 1:30 PM, I made the decision to notify teachers about the unusual event and directed them to remain in their classrooms with their students.  On Friday afternoons, many of our classes are typically outdoors having P.E. and are unable to hear announcements from the office.  Having teachers remain in their classrooms ensured that we could communicate directly with them to update them on the status of the event at the plant.  We communicated clearly that we were not calling for a shelter in place, which requires staff to close doors and windows, and to keep students indoors.   Teachers were told that students could leave class to use the restroom and that normal classroom activities could continue.  We simply wanted to keep teachers close and accessible for direct communication and further instructions if necessary.  We had a regular dismissal at 2:05 PM, and were notified that the incident at SONGS was closed at 2:40 PM.

I wanted to share this information with you in case you had questions about our actions on Friday.  Please know that student safety is our utmost concern.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this matter.


Dave Gerhard, Principal
Concordia Elementary School

Connect Ed,

If this had bean an actual emergency this is what we would have done with your children

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Irvine City Council Tonight 6PM

Arnold Gundersen speaking tonight before the Irvine City Council, 6PM, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606, USA

Mr Gundersen is an energy advisor with 40-years of nuclear power engineering experience. A former nuclear industry senior vice president, he earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in nuclear engineering, holds a nuclear safety patent, and was a licensed reactor operator.During his nuclear industry career, Arnie managed and coordinated projects at 70-nuclear power plants around the country. He currently speaks on television, radio, and at public meetings on the need for a new paradigm in energy production. An independent nuclear engineering and safety expert, Arnie provides testimony on nuclear operations, reliability, safety, and radiation issues to the NRC, Congressional and State Legislatures, and Government Agencies and Officials throughout the US, Canada, and internationally.

Let Fridays Fire, Concordia Elementary LOCK DOWN & yesterday's earthquake be your wake up call.

Speak up my friends, you've got important wisdom to share...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Song for Panhe

This land is sacred, from the mountains to the sea!
Written by Jodi Levine, guitar, Jon Sherman, flute

Friday, April 20, 2012

Keep SanO Shut Down

San Onofre, my local nuclear reactor, is completely shut down right now (like all but one reactor in Japan) and may never reopen. Why not? Because the steam generator tubes (made in Japan, by the way) clang into each other. Why does that happen? Apparently because the plant tried to increase the power output of the reactor by adding nearly 400 extra tubes when they ordered a "like-for-like" replacement of the original (four) steam generators, which were supposed to last the entire lives of the (two) reactors.

The original steam generators didn't last because they ran 'em too hot, I suspect. A couple of years ago they realized that as soon as the tubes wear out, they can replace them with steam generators that have more tubes inside but still fit in the same locations. (Or thought they could.) So they upped the power output of the reactor, which caused the tubes to fail more quickly than the normal life of the reactor -- but they didn't care. They knew our California Public Utilities Commission would stick the ratepayers with the cost of the replacement steam generators when the time came -- and they did. SanO's owners wanted to avoid having the steam generator replacement happen at the same time as the much more risky license renewal because there's ALWAYS a lot of opposition to that.

San Onofre's owners got through several steps of this process. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission saw it as a "like for like" replacement even though it wasn't, the ratepayers were charged with the costs of replacement, it happened years before license renewal, and best of all (from the utility's point of view), the utility ALSO made billions of extra dollars while they ran the reactors at extra-high power, pressure, and temperature, blowing out the gaskets, seals, and tubes!

It's like how you treat a rented car.

Only the difference is, things can go wrong when steam generator tubes burst. They are very thin, fragile things, with a thousand pounds of pressure differential on one side from the other. One tube failure can lead to another, and another, and another, which can lead to an inability to cool the reactor. Fukushima USA. is what it could lead to!

click here to read more

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fundraising for 2nd Peaceful Protest at San Onofre on April 29

We are now fundraising for the April 29 2nd Peaceful Protest at San Onofre state park campground. We are bringing Professor Daniel Hirsch from San Cruz CA down as our keynote speaker. To raise this money we are selling T-shirts in black that say “San Onofre Our Fukushima?”. We will be selling these at the SD Earth Day event April 22, and at the Protest on April 29. To get one earlier send me a email at: genston(at) Your help is appreciated.

Friday, April 13, 2012

These 131I levels represent a significant input into the kelp forest ecosystem.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, damaged by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 released large amounts of 131I into the atmosphere, which was assimilated into canopy blades of Macrocystis pyrifera sampled from coastal California. The specific activity calculated to the estimated date of deposition/assimilation ranged from 0.6 to 2.5 Bq gdwt–1, levels greater than those measured from kelps from Japan and Canada prior to the release. These 131I levels represent a significant input into the kelp forest ecosystem. Canopy-forming kelps are a natural coastal dosimeter that can measure the exposure of the coastal environment to 131I and perhaps other radioisotopes released from nuclear accidents. An organizational mechanism should be in place to ensure that they are sampled immediately and continuously after such releases. (PDF)

Should we all have been taking Potassium iodide the weeks after Fukushima?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We Are All Radioactive Surfers

We Are All Radioactive an online crowdfunded episodic documentary about a group of surfers rallying to rebuild Japan after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear melt down in Fukushima.

And a cautionary tale for anyone living downwind from the aging San Onofre Nuke Plant.

Monday, April 9, 2012

San Onofre Press Conference April 6, 2012

Video is by Sheri Crummer, thanks Sheri

SafeCast Crowdsourcing Global Radiation Levels

Hundreds of millions of smartphones have been sold worldwide. Radiation detectors and dosimeters that leverage the network capabilities of smartphones to measure and share radiological data have recently been launched in the market. In this paper we will analyze how crowd inspection – the collective measurement and sharing of radiological data by the general public – will potentially change emergency planning and response. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor tragedy in Japan spearheaded the acquisition of thousands radiation detectors and dosimeters by the general public. The perceived lack of communication from the Japanese government on the radiation levels in the country soon after the earthquake and tsunami that rendered the nuclear power station inoperable on March 11, 2011 led the general public to take their own radiation measurements. Initially, social media services were used to disseminate radiation levels in Japan. Just a few weeks after the disaster the first integration sites were created to collect and share measurements from individual radiation detectors. The second generation of fully networked and integrated radiation detectors have been introduced to the market recently. These devices allow users to seamlessly measure and share information using a smartphone or tablet. As the adoption of these devices increases, it is necessary to revisit emergency planning and response. These points must be taken in consideration.

First, the public must be educated on the correct use and interpretation of the results from these devices. Background radiation and seasonal variations must be carefully explained to avoid unnecessary confusion.

Second, emergency response plans have to be communicated with the general public.

For example, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is located in a highly populated area in southern California. With almost 9,000,000 people living in a 50 miles radius from SONGS, it is important for authorities to have mitigation strategies to avoid mass chaos in case of an improbable radiological event. The concern is to have the public knowing about higher levels of radiation before authorities have a chance to plan a response. Conversely, crowd inspection can be used as a powerful instrument to help minimize the fears and concerns of the public residing near nuclear generating stations. The ability to measure and share actual radiation levels will minimize the impact that news reports have on every small incident that happens inside a nuclear power plant.

Crowd inspection is an inevitable technology evolutionary step.

How will crowd inspection change the way we plan and respond to radiological emergencies?

Bill Cardoso, Ph.D.

Join The iRadGeiger Revolution!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Is San Clemente a Safe Place?

On March 29, the National Academy of Sciences released a 460-page report about cancer risks associated with living near a nuclear power plant. They recommended six areas in the United States for intensive studies of possible cancer links. Our area was one of the chosen six: They want epidemiological studies done for towns within 30 miles of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Is south Orange County becoming the poster child for a place where it is dangerous to live, work or bring up a family?

While many are concerned about accidental radiation leaks such as those in January, the dirty little secret is that reactors routinely release radiation without announcement. Air ejectors release radioactivity into the atmosphere and pumps discharge radionuclides into the ocean. Regulations on the deliberate release of radioactivity are specified in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s federal code in which reference is made to ALARA or “As Low As Reasonably Achievable.” Knowing that nuclear power plants cannot operate without regularly releasing low-level radiation, government agencies allow them to do so. Without monitoring, we have no idea what is released or when. Edison is not required to announce either the dates or concentrations of these secret releases. They do post yearly averages, but we have no way of knowing if the numbers are the result of possibly dangerous levels on some days averaged with no releases on other days. The industry claims that these doses are low for adult males, but to have radiation released year after year, decade after decade is problematic, especially for children.

If you want to know what San Onofre released two years ago, study Edison’s own reports to the NRC. In 2010, the list included 34 radionuclides, including some of the most toxic substances on the planet. There were 44 hours of atmospheric batch releases and 550 hours of liquid radioactive releases into the ocean. How many surfers are aware of this? In addition, Edison trucked 27 flatbed trailers of radioactive solid waste to Utah, through San Clemente and lots of other towns.

Many have difficulty fearing invisible microscopic radioactive particles. We do know that radiation causes cancer, but some disregard health threats that take years to develop. Individual doses are made to sound insignificant, but the effects are cumulative. Children are 15 to 20 times more vulnerable to radiation, and the fetus is 30 to 50 times more sensitive. Recent studies published in the International Journal of Cancer, reported that children living near nuclear power plants in Germany and France are twice as likely to get childhood leukemia. In California alone, there were 56,030 cancer deaths in 2011 and 163,480 new cases of cancer. No one knows the exact cause of most cases, but experts tell us that the vast majority of cancer has environmental origins.

If San Clemente wants to be a safe place to live and work, shouldn’t we have radiation monitoring of air and water plus epidemiological studies to learn if we are being harmed? This was the main issue at a recent City Council meeting where droves of citizens lined up to request radiation monitoring. When City Councilwoman Lori Donchak courageously made a motion to ask for independent publicly accessible radiation monitoring in town, the other four councilmen refused even to second the motion. The council ignored the warnings of City Manager George Scarborough who pointed out that the current real time monitoring near the plant is not available to the public. Council members said that everyone should trust the authorities and that those who favored increased safety for San Clemente were engaging in fear mongering.

Perhaps the main lesson learned from Fukushima is the collusion between government and industry. The government and the nuclear industry in Japan lied about radiation dangers before, during and after the meltdown. The tab for Fukushima is already $300 billion and still rising. It seems reasonable that anyone living in the shadow of San Onofre should be skeptical of those who are willing to risk our future. We should trust scientists long before we trust those who profit. In 2006, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev remarked that it was Chernobyl that really caused the downfall of the former Soviet Union. One serious accident here might do the same thing to our country.

Roger Johnson, San Clemente