San Onofre’s nuclear reactors are permanently shut down. However, we’re left with tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste that will remain on site for decades, if not longer. San Onofre’s spent fuel contains 89 times the amount of radiation (Cesium-137) released from Chernobyl.
HIGH BURNUP FUEL: San Onofre and other U.S. reactors switched to the more dangerous high burnup nuclear fuel over a decade ago. High burnup fuel is low enriched uranium that has burned longer in the reactor than lower burnup fuel.
High burnup fuel is over twice as radioactive, hotter than lower burnup fuel, and unpredictable and unstable in storage and transport. The protective fuel cladding is more likely to become brittle and shatter, risking release of radiation.
The majority of spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre falls into the danger zone as shown by the yellow in this Waste at SONGS chart.
Burnup levels as low as 30 GWd/MTU show indications of damaging the protective Zirconium cladding.
Other U.S. nuclear plants have spent fuel that falls within the danger zone, including Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County. More…
There is no approved method to safely store high burnup fuel in dry casks for more than 20 years. And there is no approved method to safely transport high burnup fuel waste. This fuel is so hot, it must cool in the spent fuel pools years longer than lower burnup fuel. Edison plans to store high burnup fuel in a new model dry cask that would make it even more dangerous. More….
The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant has the worst safety complaint record of all U.S. nuclear reactors according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) safety allegation data. See charts for details. Employees are retaliated against for reporting safety problems. See Safety Allegations Section for details on this and other safety complaints by employees and others. More…
Southern California Edison wanted to restart the Unit 2 nuclear reactor without fixing the defective steam generators. Both reactors have been shut since 1/31/2012, when Unit 3 leaked radiation into the environment. All four poorly designed replacement steam generators show decades of tube wear after less than two years of installation – the worst in the nation.
The NRC concluded Southern California Edison was at fault. “…a significant design deficiency in replacement steam generators, resulting in rapid tube wear of a type never before seen in recirculating steam generators.” In the NRC’s December 23, 2013 Notice of Violation, they stated: “…design control measures were not established to provide for verifying or checking the adequacy of certain designs.”
Edison now admits the steam generators are lemons. However, they were willing to restart Unit 2 without repairing them. Edison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) redesigned the steam generator tube anti-vibration system in order to increase profits. They removed the central stay cylinder in order to add about 400 extra tubes to each generator. Read Arnie Gundersen’s Fairewind Associates Report San Onofre’s steam generators: significantly worse than all others nationwide. More…
California has excess power without California’s unreliable nuclear power plants, even during peak summer months, according to California government documents. There should be no power problems with San Onofre shut down, even during the summer. And the California ISO’s electricity grid Transmission Plan says there will be no grid stability concerns with San Onofre shut down. More…
The San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear plants kill millions of fish and other marine life every year, due to their once-through cooling (OTC) systems. The Federal Clean Water Act §316(b) regulations declared OTC illegal. However, California is allowing both plants to continue OTC for years. More…. .
.Senator Barbara Boxer to NRC Commissioners
Four NRC Commissioners undermine safety. Rep. Darrell Issa appears to support them.
San Onofre is designed for a 7.0 earthquake, but sits next to a fault with an 8.0+ earthquake probability — 10 times larger, 32 times stronger, and long overdue. Ratepayers funding $64 million in new seismic studies, even though the USGS states no scientist can predict the size of any earthquake. Recent quakes > 7.0:
- Chili 4/1/2014 8.2 – 63x stronger
Nuclear meltdown at San Onofre would poison the nation’s food supply, create permanent “dead zones” and create financial ruin around the nation. If you live within 50 miles of San Onofre, you are at even higher risk of losing everything you care about here. Five counties are within the 50 mile zone: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.
There is no safe level of radiation, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Children, unborn babies and women are more susceptible to the effects of radiation. Ingesting radiation is extremely dangerous. More…
Tuna near San Diego was found to contain radiation from Japan. Kelp along the Orange County coast also contained Fukushima radiation. Radiation monitoring is inadequate. Government resources and priorities for radiation monitoring are too low to protect us. More…
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster continues and radiation from Fukushima has traveled to the U.S., yet limited radiation data is available to the public. See NRC Fukushima Lesson’s Learned for status of what the NRC and U.S. reactors are doing [or not doing] to avoid similar problems.
Why does the NRC allow the high burnup nuclear fuel experiment?
Why are we living with these risks for energy we don’t need?
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San Onofre Safety (SOS)
This website is a public resource for creditable information about San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant safety issues, cost issues and related information. Much of the information is relevant to other nuclear power plants and their nuclear waste. The information was extensively research and fact checked by local citizens and organizations concerned about the risks from San Onofre and other nuclear power plants. By improving public awareness, our goal is to reduce the likelihood of a nuclear disaster in California and elsewhere. The San Onofre nuclear reactors and highly toxic radioactive waste storage facilities are located just south of San Clemente, California. Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is located in San Luis Obispo county. California’s Humboldt and Rancho Seco nuclear reactors are shut down, but their highly toxic radioactive waste is stored on-site — indefinitely.
Southern California Edison decided to decommission the San Onofre nuclear reactors on June 7th, 2013, after the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board said restarting the Unit 2 reactor would be a nuclear experiment.
Thanks to Kendra Ulrich, Shaun Bernie, Damon Moglen and S. David Freeman with Friends of the Earth; Arnie and Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds Associates; Dan Hirsch, Committee to Bridge the Gap; Senator Barbara Boxer; and Southern California concerned citizens, elected officials and others who vigilantly fought Southern California Edison and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to allow the truth to prevail. And a special thanks to the concerned citizens who contributed millions of dollars to help keep Southern California safe from a nuclear disaster.