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NUCLEAR SAFETY ISSUES

A primary focus of the Samuel Lawrence Foundation is the environmental threat arising from nuclear waste.

RISKS OF SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP ARE REAL

Time is not on our side

  • Low-quality canisters only designed for decades

  • Radioactive waste to remain on the coastline for centuries 

  • Radioactive waste remains deadly for 200,000 + years

People have lost trust in Edison’s management

  • Consistent pattern of risk denial and lack of transparency

  • Violations and cover-ups exposed by whistleblowers

  • Received most severe citation to date from regulators of safety violations

Worst possible storage location

  • Stored 100 feet from ocean, just 18 inches above ground water

  • Thin-walled canisters susceptible to corrosion and cracking from salty air

  • Risks of sea level rise, earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, tsunamis, and terrorist attacks

Potential for radiation exposure

  • Storage canisters fail from aging, natural disasters and human-caused means

  • Damaged canisters would release dangerous radiation into the air, land, and ocean

  • 5/8 inch, thin-walled canisters are scratched and gouged when lowered into storage

  • Canisters cannot be adequately monitored, inspected, repaired, or replaced

  • No emergency plans in place to protect public in event of radiation release

SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR WASTE PROBLEMS

Authors: T. Enlgish, PhD, S. Chakraborty, PhD,
Len Hering Sr. RADM USN

The most serious issues concerning the storage of nuclear waste at S.O.N.G.S. include the damage done to the waste canisters when lowered into the storage vault. These 54-ton thin-walled steel canisters are loaded with nuclear waste and are transported to the on-site concrete storage vault.
 

The current  storage configuration provides the factors contributing to gouges in the external steel walls of the canisters: operators have no visibility of the canister when lowering into storage and precise adjustments cannot be made.

The damage remains undetected and unrepaired due to the lack of thorough inspection and monitoring at the San Onofre Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations (ISFSIs). The preliminary findings are found in the report below:

Admiral Hering discloses NRC and Edison’s Mismanagement

Containment Challenges

STRAIGHTFORWARD SOLUTIONS

       MONITORING

Install most sensitive radiation and leak detection technology, from University of San Diego

  HOT CELL

Construct on-site dry handling facility to contain, repair, and replace thin metal canisters with safer casks

 MOVE

 Move nuclear waste off beach.  The beach is inundation zone, with earthquakes, tsunamis and wildfires

San Onofre Radioactive Waste Poll Results

In February 2021, SLF collaborated with UCSD to survey registered voters in the County of San Diego and the County of Orange. The data makes clear that large majorities of registered voters in both counties are highly concerned about the potential consequences of storing radioactive waste at the San Onofre nuclear power plant and support more transparency form utility companies when it comes to radioactive waste storage.

The results further show that, after learning about the radioactive waste stored at San Onofre, an overwhelming majority support more aggressive federal, state, and local action to contain radioactive waste in order to protect the environment, the economy, and our communities.

The Guardian: ‘A combination of failures:’ why 3.6m pounds of nuclear waste is buried on a popular California beach

Failures at San Onofre circulated on the streets of London and across the internet with the publication of an article in The Guardian newspaper. The venerable English daily launched in 1812 and today its online edition reaches readers worldwide.
 

In the article, reporter Kate Mishkin picks apart San Onofre’s political and regulatory gridlock and history of close calls. You would be hard pressed to find a better summary of the dangerous decisions that led to the current crisis at San Onofre, an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Potential Impact: A Waste Storage Accident Could Cost $13.4 Trillion

In early 2019 SLF released two expert reports on the potential economic impacts and the technical problems of the San Onofre nuclear waste storage. A collaboration of physicists, former military personnel, and engineers with considerable nuclear experience issued the reports.

 

A potential impact of a nuclear waste accident at San Onofre could exceed $13.4 trillion.

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2020 S.O.N.G.S. Task Force Report

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Task Force Report was released this week after 18 months of fact-finding. SLF is proud to have joined scientists, policy makers and community leaders in preparing the document. Thanks so much to Rep. Mike Levin for bringing us together.

 

We will continue to appreciate his leadership as he advances eight key policy recommendations contained in the report.

We encourage you to review the report and share it widely:

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