Songs for S.O.N.G.S. V2 – Voices for Action on Nuclear Waste
Songs for SONGS V2, was a FREE event open hosted by the Belly Up with a program of music, satire, and commentary on the Southern California Edison’s storage of 3.6 million pounds of highly-radioactive waste about 100 feet from the ocean at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS. This event was held on February 24th, 2020. A family-friendly livestream was held at Oceanside High School and was open to the general public. The recording of the event is available.
Dr. Greg Jaczko [Transcript]
Thank you everyone, it is really a great pleasure to be here. I could do comedy but I don’t think you would want that. Well, first of all, I just wanted to say [this event is] really amazing, I did this once before. Some of you were here a year or two ago and I did a video and it was broadcasted up there. But I have to say, it is a lot more fun to actually be here rather than being on a video. You know it’s not something I ever thought I would have said in my life that someday I would be at the Belly Up talking about Nuclear Waste.
Number one, it is amazing that all of you are here because of this important issue. And it is an extremely important issue. It’s hard sometimes to think about how important this issue is but I want to give you a number. The number is 200,000 or 300,000 or 400,000. That is the amount of time we’re talking about before this waste will ever be safe. That’s more years than we’ve had for civilization for humanity. That’s hundreds and thousands of generations of people. So today we are creating this problem and we don’t really have a good solution for it. And we need to develop a good solution. And that is why I think it is so wonderful to see all of you here, to come together, to talk about how you can make a difference and help in this issue. And I have to tell you it’s hard, it’s really hard. But I also want to tell you it is not impossible.
I used to run the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and I can tell you doing that job, I got to know some amazing people. They are so many fantastic people working at the NRC and they have a difficult job. They work against an industry that is a very powerful industry. That puts profits over people too often. And it’s your job as the people to make them recognize that it needs to be people over profits. So how do you do that? I’m going to leave it right there.
Number one; you have fantastic organizations like the Samuel Lawrence Foundation and you need to support them. You’re really blessed to have a fantastic group like Samuel Lawrence. You’ve also got a great congressman, and he’s not here to know that I’m giving him a plug, but he’s done and amazing job from what I’ve seen. And he has taken on this issue, he’s not been afraid to take on this issue, and he created a Task Force to look at this issue. I mean that is an amazing thing, and he has only been in office for 18 months. You’re starting out in a great place. You’ve got this great support and you’ve got all of you, all of you here coming out to address this really important issue.
I just wanted to say a thank you to all of you for everything that you’ve done to tackle this issue, because like I said this is hard. This is something that is going to take patience, it’s going to take persistence and it’s going to take perseverance and you’re going to have to stick at it for a long time. And you’re going to have to keep going. The fuel is going to be around for a long time, so you’ve got time.
I want to say and close this out by saying one more thing. I’m not from this area, I didn’t grow up in California, although I wish I had. But I’ve come out here now several times, because of the people I’ve come to know. This community means a lot to me and that is why I come to these kinds of things because I want to see the right thing done here. In the past, some things have been done in the right way.
San Onofre shut down when they had a problem. A problem that I witnessed first-hand in my old job. And I saw the utility Edison not making the right choices for the people in this community and because of your voices, they ultimately did. I know it’s hard, I know it’s challenging, but you need to keep at it. You need to be persistent. At the end of the day, if you do that and you keep working at it. You can be successful and you will be successful.
I just want to close on one more thing. And I’m going to make a personal plea, we live in a world right now, in which we’re passing on a number of very significant issues to our children. I have two young children, I have a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. I look at the world and I see the energy to change the world for the better. And here in this community, I see how to deal with and tackle the issues of Nuclear Waste. In other parts of the country, I see other people tackling Climate Change.
Don’t give up, because our children demand that we do what we need to do to fix these problems once and for all and build a better world for all of us. I’m really thrilled to be here, great to see all these faces here, and I wish you all the best. I’ll be here to do whatever I can to help you.
SPEAKERS & MUSICIANS
Songs for People
Congressman Mike Levin, California’s 49th District
Dr. Gregory B. Jaczko, Former Chairman of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Mr. Alexis Dixon, Samuel Lawrence Foundation board member and professional mediator
Joe Sib, MC and Comedian