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RadiationLevels2018-09-06SafecastSanOnofre

https://api.safecast.org/en-US/bgeigie_imports/38207 Radioactive counts per minute up to 2024 CPM (6.06 microsieverts per hour) at San Onofre waste storage inlet air vents on 9/6/2018, Darin McClure using Safecast bGeigieNano.

Urgent Nuclear Waste Storage Problems and Solutions Handout

Whistleblower speaks: Industrial safety inspector, David Fritch, reveals Holtec engineering and other safety problems at San Onofre nuclear waste facility. San Onofre is located near the beach on Camp Pendleton, close San Diego county and San Clemente public beaches, including Trestles. Fritch states the Holtec system is an engineering design problem and workers are understaffed, not qualified and not adequately trained to load nuclear fuel waste canisters into the Holtec dry storage system.  He said safety is not the first priority with Holtec or Southern California Edison. One loaded canister was hanging by a 1/4″ on a canister [MPC] Guide ring located about 4 feet down from the top of the hole). He and Edison said it came close to falling 18 feet into a Holtec canister storage hole — and this wasn’t the first time. He is speaking out because he promised his daughter he would if Southern California Edison did not.  See video below of his statements and others at August 10, 2018 Edison Community Engagement Panel (CEP) meeting.

David Fritch transcript at this link.

ReasonsToRequireThickCasksHoltec and Edison have no solution in place if a large heavy Holtec thin-wall canister (loaded with roughly a Chernobyl nuclear disaster) falls into a canister storage hole.

They have no way to inspect if contents are damaged or canister is cracked

Tom Palmisano, San Onofre Chief Nuclear Officer, admits canisters are too hot to unload back into the pool, even though this is a requirement of their Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license. He subsequently said a “bolted lid canister” had been unloaded in a pool at Peach Bottom. However, this Peach Bottom thick-wall bolted-lid cask is very different than the thin-wall welded canisters used at San Onofre. The Peach bottom casks was designed to be opened — not welded shut. It also had much cooler fuel in the cask than the fuel in San Onofre canisters.  Peach Bottom fuel had cooled for decades in the pool and almost 10 years in dry storage. Unlike San Onofre fuel, it was low burnup fuel (under 30GWd/MTU).

Safety Allegations Employees 2007-2012

San Onofre has the worst safety complaint record in the nation.

San Onofre had the worst NRC safety complaint record in the nation from employees while the nuclear reactors were operating, so this whistleblower revelation is not surprising to those familiar with Southern California Edison’s history.  San Onofre also had the highest rate of retaliation against employees.

ACTION ITEM

THICK WALL CASKS: All nuclear fuel waste must be stored in thick-wall transportable storage casks, since this is the only available storage technology that can be maintained and monitored to prevent major radioactive leaks and explosions.
CASK BUILDING: Casks must be stored in hardened buildings for additional environmental and security protection.
RETRIEVAL SYSTEM: A proven on-site system must be available to inspect, replace or repair containers and their contents, as needed. Spent fuel pools must be maintained on-site until another system (i.e. hot cell) is in place. 
RADIATION MONITORING:
Continuous radiation monitoring, near source of potential leaks, with public on-line access.

  • The NRC must require Edison to stop all activities at San Onofre until these and related issues are resolved.  Edison’s August 10, 2018 press release statement on Spent Nuclear Fuel Canister downplays the problems.  Edison ignores the Holtec engineering design problems as noted by the industrial safety inspector, David Fritch, and related problems below.
    • Edison ignores the lack of ability to return fuel assemblies back to the pool for inspection if a canister falls even a few inches.
    • Multiple Holtec canisters are likely scratched, but Edison has no method to find the scratches. Even microscopic scratches can remove the chromium oxide film on the stainless steel canisters, which can trigger pitting corrosion cracking. Once cracks start they can grow through the wall in 16 years (NRC).  The NRC must resolve this issue for all the canisters, not just the ones with the near-drops. Holtec workers cannot see a canister when loading it in the hole, likely resulting in scratches to canisters as they try multiple times to aligned the canister properly in the hole. However, Edison and Holtec have nothing in place to inspect the outside or inside of the canisters or inspect for cracks.  Edison admits in their August 10, 2018 press release: “Holtec was loading the spent fuel canister into the [steel lined concrete hole] Cavity Enclosure Container (CEC) on the dry cask storage pad when the canister got caught on an inner [MPC Guide] ring that helps to guide it into place. There is a very snug fit in the CECs, and it is not unusual for it to take the downloading team a few manipulations to get the canister aligned appropriately.”
  • No Decommissioning Trust Fund monies should be released to Edison by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) until these issues are resolved.  The Reactor Unit 2 and Unit 3 Trust Fund contained over $4.3 billion before Edison began loading Holtec thin-wall canisters. Edison knows these uninspectable canisters are vulnerable to short-term cracks and leaks and they have no plan if something goes wrong, but they continue to use them, anyway.
  • The Coastal Commission San Onofre permits should be revoked.
  • The State Lands Commission should deny Edison’s permit request and put EIR on hold. See comments to State Lands Commission, August 30, 2018.

VIDEOS: In addition to David Fritch, the first video below includes:

  • Southern California Edison response by Tom Palmisano
  • Camp Pendleton position on San Onofre waste storage
  • Tom Palmisano claims that Edison is in compliance with its Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license and Systems Analyst Donna Gilmore, SanOnofreSafety.org, objection to his claim by citing the NRC license condition requiring the ability to unload fuel from canisters back into the pool. She states Edison has no method to unload damaged canisters as required by their NRC license.  Palmisano then admits this is a requirement of their NRC license, but plans to obtain an NRC exemption to destroy the pools once they are empty, in spite of having no other plan in place to unload damaged canisters.  The only other option to unload defective canisters or inspect inside the canisters is using a large hot cell (a dry fuel handling facility filled with an inert gas so nothing explodes).  Edison has no plans to build a hot cell.

Video of full Edison San Onofre CEP August 9, 2018 meeting.  Whistleblower at 2:20:00.

Instead of protecting our safety Southern California Edison’s plan appears to be to hide radiation leaks and hide the fact they are out of compliance with their Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license. See Condition 8 of License, page 3 (ML16341B080)and August 24, 2018 San Onofre NRC Inspection Report (ML18200A400). This handout with more details (No Plan for Cracking Cans) was presented to Southern California Edison at the August 9th, 2018 Community Engagement Panel meeting.

Areva NUHOMS Amendment #4 request to NRC for their 24PT1 and 24PT4 dry storage canisters (DSC) (slide 6) would require only measuring peak radiation levels from inlet air vents of the AHSM concrete overpack.  Leaking canister highest radiation levels will be from outlet air vents. The NRC already approved this request for Calvert Cliffs in Maryland.  Calvert Cliffs thin-wall canisters are up to 25 years old, cannot be inspected and could technically already be leaking, but they are not required to report radiation levels at the outlet air vents.

In this August 9, 2018 CEP meeting video clip, Donna Gilmore called out Tom Palmisano on his lie that Edison is in compliance with their NRC license.  He finally admitted their current license requires they must be able to return defective canisters back into the pool.  They cannot do this as he admitted in the March 22, 2018 CEP meeting (second video below).

Tom Palmisano admits Edison has no ability to unload defective hot spent fuel canisters back into the spent fuel pools, March 22, 2018. This is a requirement of their NRC license. See page 2, Condition 8 of License (ML16280A017).

Southern California Edison (Tom Palmisano) admitted no nuclear facility has ever unloaded fuel assemblies from canisters back into the spent fuel pools, and they have no current method to do this (March 22, 2018 Community Engagement Panel meeting).  He claims it is possible, yet there is no evidence to support this and no one has developed doing this in the decades they have been loading hot fuel in dry storage.  He said the fuel is 200 to 300 degrees C. Water boils at 100 degrees C. He called it a “reflooding” problem.  Yet Edison continues to load fuel in dry storage that is over twice as hot as their previous dry storage containers. The only other option to unload fuel on site is a hot cell, but Edison has no plans to build one.

In an August 10th San Diego Tribune article, Edison claims canisters are designed to with withstand an 18 foot drop, but has provided no evidence. On the contrary, the August 17, 2018 NRC Charter admits that a canister drop was not analyzed in the Holtec Final Safety Analysis (FSAR) approved by the NRC. And in Holtec HI-STORM canister (MPC) analysis of a canister drop inside a transfer cask,  it states if a canister drops more than 11″, the canister must be inspected for damage. Since they cannot open or inspect canisters, they have no way to do this.

 

Steam Generator Tubes Plugged Chart

San Onofre: worst replacement steam generators in the nation

Edison mismanaged the replacement steam generator project, resulting in shutdown of the reactors on January 31, 2012.  The NRC concluded 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 NRC Notice of Violation to Edison, they state: “…design control measures were not established to provide for verifying or checking the adequacy of certain

NUHOMS Canister 24 fuel assembly

Thin-wall 1/2″ to 5/8″ nuclear waste cans contains roughly a Chernobyl nuclear disaster. They can’t be inspected, repaired, or maintained to prevent major radioactive leaks. They can crack and leak in the short-term

The nuclear waste is being mismanaged at San Onofre and elsewhere in the U.S.

The highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel waste at San Onofre and elsewhere in the U.S. is stored in thin-wall stainless steel canisters only 1/2″ to 5/8″ thick that are vulnerable to short-term cracks and major leaks and explosions. Southern California Edison and other nuclear waste generators have no adequate plan to stop or prevent leaks and explosions, even though this is a requirement of their license. The NRC knows this, but continues to look the other way rather than protect our safety.

Handouts

Chart SONGS Chernobyl Other Alvarez Figure 4

Curies of Cesium-137  R. Alvarez 6/25/2013

Each canister holds roughly a Chernobyl nuclear disaster — the amount of radioactive Cesium-137 and other radionuclides release from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Thin-wall “Chernobyl cans” cannot be inspected (inside or out), repaired, maintained or monitored to PREVENT major radioactive releases into the environment.

Nuclear waste generators have no feasible plan in place to stop major radioactive releases.

HoltecUmaxLidsVents2018JuneSCE

Holtec HI-STORM UMAX two-layer lid with air vents. Radiation released through air vents. Thin-wall canister under each lid in steel lined concrete holes.

Peak radiation levels may not be reported to the public. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is allowing some facilities to exclude reporting radiation levels from the outlet air vents.  This is where the highest levels will be when canisters have through-wall cracks.

Partially cracked canisters cannot be safely transported.  Facilities have no method to inspect for cracks or the condition of the fuel and other contents of the canisters prior to shipment. Spent nuclear fuel can degrade after dry storage.

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) recommends spent nuclear fuel and its containment must be monitored and maintained in dry storage in a manner to prevent hydrogen gas explosions for both short-term and long-term storage and transport.  This is not currently being done and cannot be done with the thin-wall welded canisters.  It can only be done with thick-wall bolted lid casks, like those used in most of the world and at some US facilities.  See NWTRB report to the United States Congress and the Secretary of Energy, Management And Disposal Of US Department Of Energy Spent Nuclear Fuel, NWTRB, December 2017.

NRC licenses require the ability to unload canisters back into spent fuel pools, but only requires simulations that this can be done. The NRC admits the waste may need to be stored at existing facility indefinitely. They claim nothing can go wrong in spite of their own evidence to the contrary.

Reasons To Buy Thick Casks

DarrellDunnNRC

Darrell S. Dunn, NRC materials engineer

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is aware of these issues, but refuses to require safe standards that would result in use of proven thick-wall metal casks (10″ to 19.75″ thick), used throughout the world, that can be inspected, maintained and monitored to prevent radioactive leaks. 

NRC management makes decisions that value industry profits over public safety.  They mislead the public, elected officials and others. They have mislead NRC Commissioners (who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate).

Darrell Dunn, NRC materials corrosion engineer, claims there is not enough humidity at San Onofre for corrosion and cracking.

la-174296-me-0919-surf-19-jpg-20130506Fog

San Onofre nuclear facility shrouded in frequent fog, on-shore winds and surf.

Darrell Dunn ignores frequent fog, on-shore winds and surf at the San Onofre nuclear facility and elsewhere.  Dunn ignores Diablo Canyon 2-year old Holtec canister, filled with hot and highly radioactive nuclear fuel waste, that has a low enough temperature for moisture to stay on the canister surface and dissolve salts. He admits these are major triggers for chloride induced stress corrosion cracking. Instead, he references reports that exclude this data.

diablocanyon2014janinspectiondoe

Two-year old Diablo Canyon Holtec canister has corrosive salt and low enough temperature for moisture to dissolve salt, a major trigger for stress corrosion cracking of thin-wall stainless steel canisters.  Once a crack starts it can grow through the wall in 16 years. The thin-wall canister is inside the overpack. Access must be through the air vents, since the thin-wall canister does not protect from neutrons or gamma rays. Workers must stay below air vents to limit radioactive exposure.

Darrell Dunn erroneously stated at the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) Summer 2018 Board Meeting (June 13, 2018) that thin-wall canisters are not vulnerable to cracks in 20 years, but did not explain why. 

  • Dunn did not disclose facts that would have contradicted his statement.  Dunn stated there is inspection and repair technology, but did not mention once canisters are loaded with spent nuclear fuel they have no technology in place that can adequately find or measure cracks, let alone repair them. See Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage Fact Sheet.
  • Dunn did not mention the NRC approves systems that do not meet the NWTRB DOE Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel December 2017 report  recommendations that all spent nuclear fuel and its containment must be monitored, maintained and retrievable in a manner to prevent hydrogen gas explosions in both short-term and long-term storage, and in transport.
  • Dunn did not mention the NRC Aging Management Plan (NUREG-1927 Rev. 1) only requires one canister at each site to be “inspected”, unless they find problems. Since they cannot inspect, they cannot find problems.
  • Dunn did not mention the Aging Management Plan requires canisters with 75% through-wall cracks to be taken out of service, but there is no current method approved and in place that can to do that. (NUREG-1927 references the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code that specifies the 75% maximum, but NRC refused to add the term “75%” to the document.)
  • The NWTRB meeting was about transport yet Dunn did not mention:
    • Facilities have no method to inspect for cracking canisters, or damaged fuel, fuel baskets or other internal components, before transport (per NRC Reg. 10 CFR § 71.85).
    • NRC Holtec transport cask certificate does not include unloading.  This is up to the receiver of the cask.
    • Holtec’s application for a New Mexico UMAX CIS facility states canisters arriving leaking will be returned to sender.  See SOS Holtec webpage for details about Holtec issues.
    • Leaking canisters are not approved for transport and receiving facilities have no method to stop leaks or replace canisters.  Holtec’s New Mexico UMAX CIS proposal does not include a plan for cracking or leaking canisters nor a facility to replace canisters.  The NRC has not approved Holtec’s UMAX CIS facility yet.
    • NRC is approving much higher heat loads and more fuel assemblies per canister, risking damage to the fuel and other components, increasing radiation levels near the canisters, and requiring decades more cooling before canisters can be transported.
    • NRC NUREG-2125 Spent Fuel Transportation Risk Assessment Final Report, 2014, excluded high burnup fuel from evaluation.  Michael Ryan, NRC ACRS, told former NRC Chairman MacFarlane the report addressed high burnup fuel and high burnup fuel embrittlement after dry storage.  It does not.

US nuclear facilities have no on-site method to unload defective or leaking canisters.  

Southern California Edison (Tom Palmisano) admitted no nuclear facility has ever unloaded fuel assemblies from canisters back into the spent fuel pools, and they have no current method to do this (March 22, 2018 Community Engagement Panel meeting).  He claims it is possible, yet there is no evidence to support this and no one has developed doing this in the decades they have been loading hot fuel in dry storage.  He said the fuel is 200 to 300 degrees C. Water boils at 100 degrees C. He called it a “reflooding” problem.  Yet Edison continues to load fuel in dry storage that is over twice as hot as their previous dry storage containers. The only other option to unload fuel on site is a hot cell, but Edison has no plans to build one.

Edison’s San Onofre Independent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSI) NRC license requires the ability to unload fuel assemblies from dry storage canisters back into the spent fuel pool (ML16280A017) This March 27, 2018 Loose Holtec Bolts email correspondence to the NRC (David McIntyre) from Donna Gilmore asked the NRC to confirm whether Edison is out of compliance with their San Onofre ISFSI license.  The NRC responded to other questions in this email exchange, but has yet to respond to that question.  This issue has national implications, since other U.S. ISFSI facilities are in a similar situation. Answers from NRC David McIntyre on “Loose Holtec Bolts” questions.

sanonofre_spent_fuel_t800

The information about inability to replace failing canisters was not disclosed to the California Coastal Commission at the time Edison received their 20-year San Onofre Coastal Development Permit to store 73 Holtec UMAX nuclear waste canisters near the beach.  It was disclosed at the March 22, 2018 Community Engagement Panel Meeting. The red arrow above shows location for the 73 Holtec canisters. Behind that are the 51 above ground existing Areva NUHOMS canisters already loaded. Both canister systems are in structures that require air vents for convection cooling of the fuel.

ACTION ITEM #1:  Oppose H.R. 3053 Nuclear Waste Policy Amendment Act of 2018

The proposed Shimkus/Issa bill, H.R. 3053 Nuclear Waste Policy Amendment Act of 2018, now in the Senate, will not solve our nuclear waste storage problems and will make the problems worse.

Those in Congress who support this bill do not know the truth about what is in the bill. The bill promises to move highly radioactive nuclear fuel waste (such as San Onofre nuclear waste) to Yucca Mountain in Nevada, or to consolidated “interim” storage sites, such as those proposed in New Mexico and Texas.  Instead,  H.R.3053 makes the problem worse.

The official summary of H.R. 3053 and other information provided to elected officials by Shimkus and others does not disclose these facts.  H.R. 3053:

  • Removes storage, transport and environmental safety requirements necessary to prevent radioactive leaks and explosions.
  • Preempts or jeopardizes existing federal, state and local water and air rights, and rights to oversight, input, transparency, and other rights, including congressional oversight.
  • Provides inadequate funding to transport and store nuclear fuel waste.
  • Makes federal reimbursement for nuclear waste storage discretionary instead of mandatory.
  • Allows ownership of nuclear fuel waste to be transferred to the Department of Energy (DOE) at existing nuclear sites, making us vulnerable to insufficient funding for nuclear waste storage. Current DOE nuclear waste sites have repeatedly leaked radiation into groundwater and air partly because of this.

Share handouts with local, state and federal elected officials and others regarding why they should oppose H.R. 3053 as written and demand the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) stop approving inferior storage containers.  Instead, Congress must mandate that spent nuclear fuel and it’s containment be maintained and monitored in such a manner as to prevent radioactive leaks and explosions in both short and long-term storage. The NRC is currently not doing that.  Instead, the NRC lowers safety standards, by ignoring current Nuclear Waste Policy Act law requirements for monitored retrievable fuel storage. This bill would removes those critical safety requirements from existing law.

ACTION ITEM #2:  Contact the California Coastal Commission and request they revoke San Onofre Coastal Development Permit 9-15-0228.  

 

germanycaskstoragegorlebengnsOther countries and some US nuclear facilities use proven thick-wall metal storage casks (10″ to 19.75″ thick) to store their nuclear waste.

  • They are designed to maintain and monitor the fuel and container.
  • Thick-wall Areva designed casks survived the 2011 tsunami and earthquake at Fukushima in Japan.
  • In Japan and other countries, such as Germany, thick-wall casks (both Castor and Areva designs) are stored in reinforced hardened buildings for additional environmental and security protection.
  • France uses thick-wall casks for themselves and others, but sells their NUHOMS thin-wall canisters to the US. Most US nuclear corporations choose short-term lower costs over quality and safety.
  • Thick-wall casks are licensed for use in the US and are the oldest and most proven dry storage containers used in the US and elsewhere.

Southern California Edison claims there is no NRC approved thick-wall cask designed for San Onofre is misleading.  Fuel assemblies are frequently a different size at different facilities, so it is common to need an NRC license amendment to modify container designs to accommodate this. Edison needed a license amendment for the NUHOMS 32PTH2 canisters they purchased and took delivery of (but never used), and for the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX canister system they ultimately purchased (for a price they refuse to disclose, even though ratepayers are funding them).

Edison’s MPR 2017 white paper recommends using the Test Area North (TAN) Hot Shop — this hot cell was destroyed in 2007!

Edison is using MPR’s September 2017 white paper as their reference for how they can safely manage the nuclear fuel waste and how they can feasibly replace canisters (by shipping them to the TAN hot cell). MPR’s own technical reference (#21) in their white paper states it was destroyed in 2007, yet they claim it’s feasible to use.  On page 20 of the MPR report it states: “The DOE recently identified a large existing hot cell facility (Test Area North) on the Idaho National Laboratory (Reference 21) that could be dedicated to repackage commercial used fuel canisters.”

Edison (Tom Palmisano) admitted we would likely need a “hot cell” to transfer fuel from one container to another. This is a dry fuel handling facility filled with an inert gas (such as helium) where fuel is handled remotely. The NRC requires the ability to handle fuel in such a “dry fuel handling facility”, even though one has not been identified that can be used.

Edison should not be allowed to destroy their spent fuel pools until they have a hot cell on-site to transfer fuel to new dry storage containers and to maintain and monitor the fuel and the containers. Edison has not provided a cost for such a hot cell, but has been asked numerous times about this.

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Test Area North  (TAN) hot shop (hot cell) destroyed in 2007 was the only hot cell identified large enough for unloading large canisters.  The MPR Associates white paper SONGS Used Fuel Management – Defense in Depth”, September 2017, page 20, incredulously states it is feasible to use this TAN hot shop (hot cell) for San Onofre canisters. MPR’s reference for this claim (Reference #21) actually states the opposite right in the summary on Page v — it states the TAN facility was demolished in 2007.  The scope of the referenced INL report is not even relevant to using a hot cell to replace failing welded lid thin-wall canisters.  The scope was to determine whether “it is possible to receive, open, inspect, remove samples, close, and reseal large, bolted-lid, dry storage casks at INL”  Viability of Existing INL Facilities for Dry Storage Cask Handling, USDOE Report, INL/EXT-13-29035, April 2013.  This appears to be a significant reading comprehension error with the MPR authors.

Edison knew the TAN facility was demolished, yet did not catch this major error in the MPR 2017 report nor that the INL report was not even relevant to MPR’s claim.  Closure of the TAN facility was discussed at the California Public Utilities Commission San Onofre decommissioning proceeding during August 2015 evidentiary hearings.

Higher Burnup Higher Cladding Failure Chart

Evidence from over 4,400 measurements from commercial fuel-rods from reactors around the world show medium and high burnup fuel (>35 and >45 GWd/t) increases fuel cladding oxide thickness. This increases fuel damage and explosion risks from hydrides.

The MPR 2017 report also ignores other evidence that does not fit their conclusion. For example, it ignores risks of high burnup fuel damage by using outdated references.  It ignores criticality risks if unborated water enters canisters from through-wall cracks.  It ignores hydrogen gas explosion risks. Edison is aware of these risks, yet is promoting this MPR report as evidence they have defense in depth and can only have minor radioactive leaks that they will be able to stop. They have provided no evidence of this — only unsubstantiated promises of future solutions.  See High Burnup Fuel Unstable in Storage and Transport for evidence of cracking, leaking and explosion risks.

 

Edison received defective nuclear fuel waste canisters from Holtec.

Loose bolts were found inside the bottom of some new Holtec canisters. Holtec loaded four San Onofre Holtec thin-wall canisters with nuclear fuel waste before they noticed the loose bolt (pin) in the bottom of an empty canister. Holtec used a new basket shim design. Only the original shim design was approved by the NRC.  The four canisters were not inspected by Holtec at San Onofre because Edison said they couldn’t see the bottom of the shims in the canister to know there were pins there let alone missing or bent pins. Learn about other Holtec issues here.

shim-designs

 

Edison did not notify the public for over a month (on March 22, 2018). They were aware of the problem since February 20, 2018 and had loaded four canisters with the defective new shim design. An evening news report on March 18, 2018 by Mike Faher, VTDigger, in the Vermont Brattleboro Reformer reported the problem. In that article, the NRC refused to name the nuclear plant where the loose bolt was found. It was San Onofre.

MPR was hired by Edison to assess the risks of the defective Holtec new shim design.  This is the same company that recommended the INL TAN hot cell as a a possible option for transferring fuel waste to a new container — the hot cell their own reference said had been demolished in 2007. According to Edison, MPR claims the four loaded Holtec San Onofre canisters with the defective shim design are safe.  The NRC is still investigation this. However, the NRC has never required any misloaded or otherwise problem canisters to be replaced.  Over half the Diablo Canyon Holtec canisters were loaded incorrectly.  These were also loaded by Holtec.

shim-baskets-2This is a Holtec design and quality control problem. No independent inspections are required by the NRC. Holtec was hired to manufacture and load the San Onofre canisters. Edison has resumed loading canisters with the older NRC approved basket shim design while claiming the four canisters loaded with the new defective design are safe.

According to the NRC, Holtec has been using this defective design since 2016. Holtec notified the following sites that have loaded or received canisters with the defective basket shim design: Dresden, Grand Gulf, Hatch, Vermont Yankee, Columbia, San Onofre, Watts Bar and Callaway.   No one apparently knows the condition of the four San Onofre canisters or other canisters that may have been loaded with the defective shim design.  Vermont Yankee had already loaded 30 canisters, with 15 additional remaining to load.  It is unclear which canisters contain the defective new shim design.

The basket shims are 18 foot long hollow aluminum, with over 1/2″ thick walls. The bottom of each shim is supported by only three 7/16″ x 4″ stainless steel pins (bolts). At the bottom of each canister are a total of 88 bolts (pins).  The open space at the bottom of the basket shims allows helium to circulate around the fuel assemblies.  Source:  Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Southern California Edison. Holtec provided most of the information to them. Loose Holtec bolts NRC emails with Donna Gilmore as of March 27, 2018

Technology does not exist to safely store nuclear fuel waste in a  permanent repository — even in the short-term, 

NWTRB admits no permanent repository solution exists

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) admitted no country has short-term storage and monitoring technology solutions needed to implement a safe permanent geological repository.  Webinar, slides and transcript at March 28, 2018 NWTRB Spring Meeting website.

Geologic Repositories: Performance Monitoring and Retrievability of Emplaced High-Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel, NWTRB report to Congress, May 2018

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board December 2017 report to Congress states spent nuclear fuel waste needs to be monitored and maintained in dry storage in a manner to prevent hydrogen gas explosions for both short-term and long-term storage.  This is not currently being done and cannot be done with the thin-wall welded canisters.  It can only be done with thick-wall bolted lid casks, like those used in most of the world and at some US facilities.  See Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board report to the United States Congress and the Secretary of Energy,  Management And Disposal Of US Department Of Energy Spent Nuclear Fuel, NWTRB, December 2017.

The best available current technology solution is to store spent nuclear fuel waste above ground in hardened buildings for additional environmental and security protection. The  best available technology that can meet NWTRB requirements are thick-wall bolted lid casks, currently the standard in most of the world (except the U.S.).  Most U.S. nuclear waste generators chose thin-wall canister systems because of  lower initial cost.

The NRC (unlike other countries) approves inferior thin-wall canisters for storing and transporting highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.  Current federal law, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), requires monitored retrievable spent nuclear fuel storage.  The NRC has chosen to ignore these NWPA requirements. The bill H.R. 3053, The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendment Act of 2018, (now pending in the Senate) proposes to eliminate NWPA safety requirements. It also proposes to remove our federal, state, local and public rights for oversight, input and transparency.

ACTION #3:  Educate the public and elected officials. 

Please take action to help stop use of these inferior “Chernobyl cans”. This affects you and your family and is a “now” problem. Demand proven thick-wall casks that do not have the design flaws of the inferior thin-wall canisters.  Oppose legislation that makes us less safe and does not solve the urgent nuclear waste dry storage problems we now face.

ACTION ITEM#4:  Oppose Senate Bill S.2396 and House Bill H.R.4441

Chart SONGS Chernobyl Other Alvarez Figure 4

Curies of Cesium-137 Alvarez, June 25, 2013

S.B.2396 and H.R.4441 are titled The Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2018, but the opposite is true. The bills encourage expediting highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel out of the pools into dry storage — even in unsafe thin-wall dry storage canisters.  Each can contains about as much lethal highly radioactive Cesium-137 as was released from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Contact local, state and federal elected officials and tell them to oppose S.B.2396 and H.R.4441.  Emergency and security regulations and requirements should be continued until all spent fuel is removed from the site. And no thin-wall cracking Chernobyl cans! 

These bills propose to eliminate emergency and security regulations and requirements once all fuel at a nuclear plant is in dry storage, even though this lethal highly radioactive spent fuel waste is still at the site.

State and local governments receive millions of dollars in emergency funding from operating reactor corporations (licensees).  However, the NRC currently grants exemptions that result in termination of these funds once nuclear reactors are permanently shutdown — even though the lethal nuclear waste is still in our communities and even though state and local governments must respond to radioactive nuclear disasters.

The NRC officially assumes nothing will go wrong once nuclear reactors are shutdown, even thought they know better. See these Comments to the NRC (ML16082A004) as to why NRC’s claimed assumptions are wrong — based on their own evidence.

It appears elected officials sponsoring these bills are believing the wrong “experts”, who are telling them these thin-wall cans are safe enough and safer than the spent fuel pools. However, the pools have defense in depth (redundancies). The thin-wall cans have no redundancies. The fuse is likely lit on these Chernobyl cans, but we have no idea how deep the cracks are to know how much time we have left. The nuclear corporations have no approved plan in place to prevent or stop leaks, criticalities, or explosions. They cannot repair or adequately inspect for cracks. Even partially cracking canisters cannot be transported per NRC regulations. High burnup transport casks require intact canisters (no cracks). Learn more on SOS Holtec webpage.

S.B.2396 and H.R.4441 Bill Summary:  This bill amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to prohibit the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from approving the request of a licensee for a waiver of, or exemption from, a covered regulation applicable to a civilian nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased to operate.

A covered regulation includes: (1) an emergency preparedness or response regulation or requirement, or (2) a security regulation or requirement applicable to spent nuclear fuel.

This prohibition shall not apply to a civilian nuclear power reactor at which all spent nuclear fuel has been transferred to spent nuclear fuel dry casks.

S.2396 sponsors: Senators Kamala Harris, Edward J. Markey, Bernie Sanders and Kirsten E. Gillibrand;
H.R.4441 sponsor: Rep. Nita M. Lowey.

ACTION: Revoke San Onofre Coastal Commission nuclear waste storage permit.  

SanOnofreNuclearWasteDump

The above Google map shows the location of the Southern California Edison San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump in San Diego County on Camp Pendleton leased land, near the border of Orange County. The Holtec UMAX dry storage system (circled) is under construction with plans to load 73 high level nuclear fuel waste canisters starting in December 2017. Each Holtec thin-wall canister can hold 37 fuel assemblies.

Located directly behind the Holtec system shown above are 51 Areva NUHOMS storage canisters, each stored in a horizontal concrete overpack. Each Areva NUHOMS thin-wall canister holds 24 fuel assemblies.  Both storage systems require air vents so the nuclear fuel waste does not overheat.  The steel canister walls are only 5/8th of an inch thick and are susceptible to short term cracking. The Areva NUHOMS canister system is approved under separate Coastal permit (No. E-00-014), expires November 15, 2022.

Below is diagram showing distance to water table and surf. System is built half underground with dirt piled up on the sides. The NRC approved generic Holtec UMAX design is for a below ground system with only the top pad and lid above ground.  And the NRC and Southern California Edison are ignoring the fact partially cracked canisters have no seismic rating.

 

HANDOUTS: Key nuclear waste handouts to share with elected officials and others

Is Southern California Edison’s real plan to hide radiation leaks from cracking canisters?

Edison did not admit for over 17 days that radioactivity was released to the atmosphere during the steam generator tube leak on January 31 2012.  Now it appears their plan may be to hide radioactive leaks from the thin-wall dry storage canisters.

  • Areva NUHOMS Amendment #4 request to NRC (slide 6) would require only measuring peak radiation levels from inlet air vents.  Leaking canister higher radiation levels will be from outlet air vents.
  • Weakens other safety requirements in existing 51 thin-wall San Onofre spent fuel canisters, each holding about as much lethal radioactive Cesium-137 as was released from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
  • Eliminates spent fuel pools, providing no other option for unloading cracking “Chernobyl” cans.
  • Each canister contains about as much highly radioactive Cesium-137 as was released from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

The following federal and state government agencies know these canisters are susceptible to short-term cracks and leaks; that the canisters cannot be inspected (inside or out), cannot be repaired, maintained or monitored to PREVENT radioactive leaks. Edison has no approved plan in place to deal with cracking leaking canisters. Canisters with even partial cracks are not approved for transport and have no seismic rating. In spite of all this, these agencies are allowing Edison to build this nuclear waste dump which the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission acknowledges might stay here indefinitely.

  • California Coastal Commission: Granted a recent Coastal building permit with the unsubstantiated hope these problems will be solved in 20 years.  Granted an earlier separate 20 year permit for the existing 51 Areva NUHOMS thin-wall canister system.
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Licensed Holtec UMAX storage system. Ignored San Onofre high risk location. Refused to consider canister cracking and other unresolved aging management issues in their initial license approval. NOTE: Edison still needs an NRC site license which must be granted before fuel assemblies can be loaded into the Holtec UMAX system.
  • California Public Utility Commission: Approved ratepayer Decommission Trust Funds to procure this system. Ignored cost-based case that there are insufficient funds to replace canisters that may fail in the short-term. Ignored Edison’s own testimony that it’s “unlikely” the federal government will take this waste anytime in the forseeable future. Ignored that the Holtec canister warranty excludes corrosion and cracking vulnerabilities. It covers only a limited warranty for manufacturing defects for problems we cannot even see, and this is only 25 years for the canister and void after 10 years, if the concrete structure fails.
  • Department of Energy: Ignored Nuclear Waste Policy Act requirements for monitored, retrievable spent nuclear fuel storage. Instead promoted thin-wall canister systems without disclosing problems with the thin-wall canister systems.
  • California Energy Commission:  Recommends expediting spent nuclear fuel assemblies into dry storage without recommending minimum safety requirements for the dry storage containers.

Tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste will continued to be unsafely stored at U.S. nuclear plants indefinitely unless action is taken to stop this.

The Koeberg nuclear plant in South Africa had a similar container (a waste water tank) crack and leak after only 17 years with cracks longer (0.61″) than most U.S. thin canisters (0.50″). The tank was at ambient temperature. Cracks grow faster in hotter stainless steel canisters.

Recommendations for Safer Nuclear Waste Storage and Transport

The majority of U.S. nuclear power facilities store highly radioactive nuclear waste in thin-walled canisters (most only 1/2 inch thick) that both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) admit cannot be inspected (on the outside or inside), cannot be maintained, repaired, and can crack and leak in the short-term. Other countries and some U.S. facilities use thick-walled metal casks 10 to 19.75 inches thick that do not have these problems.  The NRC has approved thick wall casks in the past and those are still in use, so licensing should not be a problem.  Thick casks are proven designs for both storage and transport. Thin-wall canisters must be banned from use before they start leaking radionuclides into the environment. Each canister contains about as much lethal Cesium-137 and other radionuclides as was released from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  More details and source links below.

Reasons To Buy Thick Casks

2016-09-15pbs-socalsanonofreSan Onofre: Is nuclear waste being stored safely? PBS SoCal television interview with Oceanside City Council member Jerry Kern and SanOnofreSafety.org founder Donna Gilmore. PBS Studio SoCal moderators Rick Reiff and Elizabeth Espinosa. And Surfrider Foundation Senior Scientist Rick Wilson with PBS reporter David Nazar. September 16, 2016

Japan abolished in October 2015 the use of aluminum alloy baskets that hold the fuel assemblies in place inside the casks, stating they may not last even 60 years. Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) said the constant heat causes the baskets to degrade more quickly than expected. This model had been adopted in 2007 guidelines. There are 35 of this type of basket employed in Japan (20 at Fukushima Daiichi and 15 at Tokaimura). Out of the 20 at Fukushima, 11 exhibited the problem. More…

U.S thin-walled canister systems also use aluminum alloy baskets. However, because the lids are welded shut no one knows if there are problems. Japan was able to inspect their baskets because the lids of their casks are bolted instead of welded.

There are no adequate plans in place to prevent or remediate a major radioactive release from these thin-walled canisters.  We will only know of the problem after radiation is released into the environment.

p10fuel-casks-w-captionBigRockPointSome vendor claims that they can put a leaking canister into a thick sealed transfer or transport cask are unsubstantiated. No such cask is approved for this purpose. A thermal analysis and other evaluations have not been done or approved by the NRC.  The NRC evaluated use of a cask at Big Rock Point for temporary storage of a thin-wall canister. They approved it for only 270 days. The NRC was not even sure the radiation levels would be safe doing this. Big Rock has lower burnup fuel (40 GWd/MTU or less) and fuel that cooled for decades in the pool.  The NRC allowed Big Rock to destroy their pool with the assumption Big Rock would have a solution after 270 days.  However, they don’t;  yet the NRC has not dealt with this and continues to let other decommissioning facilities destroy their pools. Fortunately, Big Rock and other utilities have not yet had a leaking canister,  However, these thin-wall canisters are near the age where they can start leaking from through-wall cracks.  Big Rock Point References:

ML020250519 – 01/25/02 – Ltr to R. D. Quinn, BNFL From: E. W. Brach Subject: Amendment No. 2 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1026 for the FuelSolutions Spent Fuel Managment System Enclosures: 1.) CoC No. 1026, Amendment No. 2; and 2.) Safety Evaluation Report. (3 page(s), 1/25/2002) 

ML020250586 – Final Safety Evaluation Report for the BNFL FuelSolutions Spent Fuel Management System (CoC No. 1026, Amendment No. 2). (4 page(s), 1/25/2002) 

01/25/02 – Package to R. D. Quinn, BNFL Subject: Amendment No. 2 to CoC No 1026 for the FuelSolutions Spent Fuel Mgmt System (ML020250512.html)

 

MarkLombardDonnaGilmore2014NRCWasteConf

Mark Lombard and Donna Gilmore at 2014 NRC Annual Nuclear Waste Conference

The NRC no longer requires the fuel assemblies to be retrievable from the canisters (ISG-2, Rev. 2), even though the DOE Standard Contract with utilities requires this.

NRC Director Mark Lombard is responsible for approving this change even though he and others know fuel will eventually need to be retrieved from these thin canisters and the canisters cannot currently be inspected or repaired and may crack and leak in short-term storage. Comments to the NRC regarding the impacts of this rule change were dismissed with bureaucratic double talk.

The NRC also allows empty spent fuel pools to be destroyed at decommissioned plants, even though they know this is the only approved method the utilities have to unload failing canisters.

Each canister contains more highly radioactive Cesium-137 than released from Chernobyl.

Chart SONGS Chernobyl Other Alvarez Figure 4

Curies of Cesium-137 Alvarez June 25, 2013

Even a microscopic through-wall crack will release millions of curies of radiation into the environment states Dr. Kris Singh, President and CEO of Holtec. He said it’s not feasible to repair the cracks even if you could find them.

San Onofre (SONGS) stores 89 times more lethal radiation (Cesium-137) than released from Chernobyl. 

Currently there are 50 “Chernobyl” cans with only 5/8″ thick steel walls and one can with other high level radioactive waste. They began loading in 2003.

Southern California Edison is ignoring the problems of thin canisters. Instead they plan to buy almost 100 Holtec thin canisters and store them in an experimental unproven system. Cost is estimated at $4 million each, including labor. Edison refuses to disclose the actual cost, even though this is ratepayer money.

Please share handouts

Diablo Collecting Dust Samples

A Diablo Canyon canister located in a similar marine environment to the Koeberg tank has all the conditions for cracking in a two-year old canister and crack growth rate will be faster in hotter canisters filled with spent nuclear fuel.  EPRI (the utilities research lab) found corrosive salts and a temperature range low enough for salts to dissolve on the canister. No one knows if the Diablo or any other thin canisters are cracking, because they will only know after the canisters leak radiation into the environment.  California climate zone data shows both Diablo Canyon (Zone 5) and San Onofre (Zone 7) are located in high moisture zones (with on-shore winds, surf, and frequent fog); enough moisture to dissolve salts on the canisters.

SCCpropatationRatesSandiaSTAD2015-03-25

Hotter canisters have faster crack growth rate

No one can predict when a crack will start, but once a crack starts it can grow through the wall of the canister in less than 5 years, and in some cases less than a year, due to the higher heat level of thin canisters filled with spent nuclear fuel (canister temperatures, e.g., 60º C (140ºF) to 80ºC (176ºF)).  This Sandia Lab chart assumes a 5/8″ (0.625″) canister wall thickness of which there are very few that thick in the U.S. Most are 1/2″ thick. It demonstrates hotter containers will have much faster crack growth rate.  Draft Geologic Disposal Requirements Basis for STAD Specification, A. Ilgen, C. Bryan, and E. Hardin, Sandia National Laboratories, March 25, 2015, FCRD-NFST-2013-000723 SAND2015-2175R, PDF page 39 and 46  [http://bit.ly/SAND2015-2175R]

The NRC states once a crack starts it can grow through the wall of the canister and leak in about 16 years. Edison has existing canisters that have been loaded since 2003. Southern California Edison plans to continue to unsafely store over 1600 metric tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste on the Southern California coast even though they know all this.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approves use of these inferior canisters in spite of knowing these problems. Therefore, it is up to our local, state and federal elected officials, regulators and concerned citizens to take action to address these issues before we have major nuclear radiation releases that can create permanent sacrifice zones in our communities, spread highly toxic radiation into our food supply, and disrupt our economy and transport systems.

Each thin canister contains about as much Cesium-137 as was released from Chernobyl.

There is no approved plan to remediate failed canisters once nuclear spent fuel pools are destroyed, as is the plan at San Onofre and other decommissioning nuclear reactors.

Most other countries use thick walled casks (about 10″ to 20″ thick) rather than the mostly 1/2″ thick canisters used in the majority of U.S. nuclear facilities. Thick walled casks do not have the thin canister problems.Most other countries use thick walled casks.

  • TN-24G-TransportConfig2001ArevaJapan uses the Areva TN-24 thick cask design. Germany uses Castor casks and Areva TN E casks.
  • Other countries store their casks in reinforced buildings for additional environmental protection.
  • U.S. utilities migrated to thin canisters to save money. However, long term, the thicker casks will likely save money since they do not have the thin canister problems.
  • See more details with government and scientific references below and on the Nuclear Waste page.

Reasons To Buy Thick Casks

San Onofre nuclear reactors have been shutdown since January 31, 2012 and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concluded Southern California Edison was at fault.  Therefore, how can we trust them to store the waste safely? 

The San Onofre shutdown resulted from decades of excessive wear in both reactors’ (Units 2 and 3) new steam generator tubes, which resulted in a steam generator radiation tube leak on Unit 3 on January 31, 2012.  The NRC concluded 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 NRC Notice of Violation to Edison, the NRC stated: “…design control measures were not established to provide for verifying or checking the adequacy of certain designs.”

 

Holtec HI-STORM-100

Above ground  HI-STORM 100

The failed steam generator multi-billion dollar boondoggle is about to be repeated with Edison’s decision to purchase the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX inferior thin canister storage system that may crack within a few years. A system that even Vermont Yankee’s utility, Entergy, considered unproven, too complex and overpriced.

The experience of other facilities substantiates the conclusion that the cost to install an underground dry cask storage system [UMAX] at Vermont Yankee would be considerably more expensive than the above ground HI-STORM 100 system. Additionally, I understand that utilities suing the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) for breach of its contracts to remove spent fuel from their sites are required to take reasonable steps to mitigate the damages incurred as a result of the breach. It is therefore unlikely that the cost of a spent fuel storage system that is significantly more costly than another available alternative can be recovered from DOE. Entergy VY continues to believe that the HI-STORM 100U [UMAX] system not only would be significantly more difficult and substantially more expensive to install than the above-ground HI-STORM 100 system, but also carries significant schedule and cost risks associated with an unproven system.

UMAX Cooling Slide 6, 2015JuneThe Holtec UMAX system is even worse than the other thin-wall canister systems.

Edison plans to store the UMAX system partially underground in moist corrosive soil. The system has air vents connected to pipes in the outer lid to cool the thin hot canisters. However, there are no drains for moisture, water or other debris that enters the vents and pipes (downcomers).  Water and other debris can accumulate and potentially block the opening at the bottom of the pipes and elsewhere. This can block the air flow of the cooling system. Workers are expected to put hoses down the vent holes and pump out any water or other debris. They will be exposed to some radiation, even when the canisters are not leaking from cracks. Workers will need to manually inspect the vents and pipes to determine if there is any blockage. No other thin-wall canister system or thick-wall cask system has this problem. Learn more…

All thin-wall canisters can crack, but cannot be inspected for cracks (inside or out), and cannot be repaired, maintained or monitored to PREVENT radioactive leaks.

Cracked canisters cannot be safely transported according to NRC regulations.

  • NRC Regulation 10 CFR § 71.85 Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive MaterialsPreliminary determinations. Before the first use of any packaging for the shipment of licensed material — (a) The certificate holder shall ascertain that there are no cracks, pinholes, uncontrolled voids, or other defects that could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the packaging.
  • NRC Certificate of Compliance NUHOMS-MP197HB, Certificate 9302, April 23, 2014 (ML14114A099), Page 17, “For any DSC [Dry Storage thin-wall Canister] that has been used in storage, the condition of the DSC must be evaluated, prior to transportation, to verify that the integrity of the canister is maintained.
  • Safety Analysis Report Holtec HI-STAR 190 Package  (Revision 1), Holtec Report No. HI-2146214, June 8, 2017 (ML17166A448). The NRC used this document to justify the August 2017 approval of the Holtec HI-STAR 190 for high-burnup spent fuel. The NRC is ignoring its own safety regulations with this approval.  For example, the NRC knows there is no current technology that can inspect for cracks in canisters loaded with spent nuclear fuel, yet it approved this. To make matters worse, unloading the canister at the destination location is not part of this Safety Analysis Report (SAR).  PDF Page 23 states: Any further operations, such as unloading fuel assemblies from the MPC [Multi Purpose thin-wall canister] if that is required, and consideration of HBF [High Burnup Fuel] condition during unloading need to be performed under the jurisdiction of the location where the cask is unloaded, and is not part of this SAR. 

Edison is ignoring this data and purchased a Holtec dry storage system that cannot be inspected, repaired or maintained.  

Edison has no plans or funding to deal with leaking or cracking canisters.

Each canister contains about as much or more lethal highly radioactive Cesium-137 and other radionuclides as was released from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

The nuclear industry does not dispute this.  They and their nuclear advocates, such as Community Engagement Panel (CEP) Chairman, David Victor, don’t like us calling these “Chernobyl in a can”. However, their only rebut is stating it’s not a Chernobyl reactor in a can. No, but it contains the amount of lethal radionuclides released from Chernobyl that still contaminate the earth.

It is up to the public to stop this. The NRC ignores their own safety regulations, so we cannot count on them to keep us safe. Learn more and get involved. On this website you will find government and scientific sourced documents that can be used to inform others. Whether you live in California or in other states with nuclear power plants, this affects you, your family and your community.

Action: Request the Coastal Commission revoke Edison’s nuclear waste storage permit.

Location of ISFSI

Location of nuclear waste dry storage area (yellow circle)

The California Coastal Commission voted to approve a 20-year permit to install the experimental unproven Holtec UMAX underground nuclear waste thin canister storage system at San Onofre even though they know the system has problems. Instead they added critical “special conditions” that Edison isn’t required to meet for years and it’s unlikely they can ever meet them. Also, these are unfunded conditions. Edison’s cost estimate to the California Public Utilities Commission assumes nothing will go wrong, so it has no funding to remediate problems or relocate the dry storage system on the property, as required by this Coastal permit. 

  • Handout: Request Coastal Commission REVOKE Nuclear Storage Permit
  • The Commission acknowledged the Holtec system cannot be inspected or maintained. The system is subject to cracking. Cracked canisters cannot be transported. Rather than requiring a system that does not have these critical flaws, they are accepting promises from Edison that these issues will be resolved sometime in the future
  • The Coastal Commission should only approve a permit for a spent nuclear fuel storage system that can be inspected, maintained, monitored and transported.
    • If they have the authority to require these conditions in 20 years, they can require them now.
    • The Coastal Commission should not lower their standards just because Edison chose an inferior thin canister system that does not meet these critical requirements.
    • Thick metal cask storage options are available that meet Coastal Commission requirements now and can be deployed in a reasonable time frame. This is proven technology used throughout the world and in the U.S.
  • Summary of Special Conditions: 
    • Special Condition 2, which authorizes the proposed development for a period of twenty years and requires SCE to return for a CDP Amendment to retain, remove or relocate the ISFSI facility, supported by:
      • (i) an alternatives analysis, including locations within the decommissioned Units 2 and 3 area;
      • (ii) assessment of coastal hazards and managed retreat;
      • (iii) information on the physical condition of the fuel storage casks and a maintenance and monitoring program; and
      • (iv) proposed measures to avoid/minimize visual resource impacts.
    • Special Condition 7, which requires SCE to submit, as soon as technologically feasible and no later than October 6, 2022, a maintenance and inspection program designed to ensure that the fuel storage casks will remain in a physical condition sufficient to allow both on-site transfer and off-site transport, for the term of the project as authorized under Special Condition 2.
    • Special Condition 3, which requires SCE to agree to not enlarge or replace the existing NIA seawall for purposes of protecting the proposed project from coastal hazards.
    • Special Conditions 1, 4, 5, and 6 which require evidence of the Applicant’s legal ability to undertake the development as conditioned by the Commission, assumption of risk, liability for attorney’s fees, and restrictions on future development.
  • Coastal Commission Final Approval Documents
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists endorsed the Holtec thin canister system without addressing the critical problems of the systemHoltec UMAX System email exchange with UCS Dave Lochbaum, October 2015
  • Audio and transcript of March 31, 2017 phone conference with Union of Concerned Scientists (Dave Lochbaum) and others regarding dry storage systems risks.

Take Action

  • Email Joseph.Street@coastal.ca.gov to request the permit be revoked.
  • The Coastal Commission granted a 20-year permit for a system that cannot be inspected for cracks, cannot be repaired, may crack in 20 years (or sooner for existing thin canisters) and cannot be transported with cracks.  
  • Tell your local and state elected officials to urge the Governor, the Coastal Commission and the CPUC to NOT allow a nuclear waste storage system to be installed that can crack, that cannot be inspected for cracks, cannot be repaired or maintained and cannot be transported. Tell them to:
    • not approve a system based on vaporware — capabilities that do not exist. It is against state government regulations to procure vaporware, so why are we allowing Edison to do this? We’ve had enough broken promises from Edison, the federal government and the nuclear industry, so we should not continue to rely on their promises of future solutions.
    • Other options are available now, but Edison refuses to consider them.
    • The NRC approves systems for 20 years even though they don’t meet these requirements.  However, it is within the states jurisdiction to require a system that is guaranteed to last decades and won’t affect our coastal resources and communities. The NRC would approve such a system, but Edison needs to ask for it.
    • Edison should be required to prove they can meet the special conditions prior to the installation of the system, not 20 year later. 
      • The Coastal Commission included “special conditions” that must be met AFTER 20 years, including ability to inspect, repair, maintain and transport.  If they have the authority to include these special conditions now, then they should require them NOW not in 20 years when it’s too late.
      • The CPUC will be making a decision on whether to give Edison the almost $1.3 billion of our limited ratepayer trust fund to install and manage this inferior system. Edison’s Tom Palmisano said Edison has no money allocated to relocate this system to higher ground as required by one of the special conditions.
  • NRC Director of Spent Fuel Management, Mark Lombard, admitted to the Commissioners there is no technology to inspect or repair these systems now and only offered promises they would figure it out in the future.

Below is the proposed location for the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX thin “underground” spent fuel canister system at San Onofre. Half under ground, and close to the water table and about 100 feet from the ocean. Edison admits the Sea Wall hasn’t been maintained so can’t be counted on for protection. This plan doesn’t meet Coastal Act requirements, but Coastal Commission staff think there are no other options, but there are.

Holtec Side View

Presentation to the Coastal Commission on why they should deny the Coastal Permit, Donna Gilmore, October 6, 2015

Slides from Donna Gilmore October 6, 2015 Coastal Commission presentation

  • The Coastal Commission should not approve vaperware (technology that doesn’t exist) nor make decisions based on unsubstantiated hope.
    • Coastal Commission staff recommend kicking the can down the road and approving the permit with the condition that Edison will figure out how to inspect, repair and maintain this inferior system after 20 years.
    • Would you buy a car that cannot be inspected, maintained, repaired and has no early warning system before the car fails?  That is what the Coastal Commission is allowing if they approve this Coastal Development Permit.
    • Edison claims they can relocate the system to another spot a few feet away if the coast erodes and the sea rises. That would cost hundreds of millions of dollars with the current Holtec system (it must be rebuilt) and we all know who will pay for that. Edison plans to spend all the Decommission Trust Fund money and they have not allocated any funds for this.
  • The Coastal Commission should require Edison have a ready plan for existing canisters that may leak in as little as 5 years and not allow over 20 years before Edison must have an approved plan.
  • Thick casks are the solution. 
    • Thick casks don’t crack and are up to 20″ thick compared to the Holtec thin (5/8″ thick) thin canisters. Edison can choose thick casks, if the Coastal Commission rejects their inadequate application.  
    • Thick casks are designed for longer term storage and transport and can be inspected, maintained and monitored and have proved reliable for over 40 years.
    • Edison refused to allow bids from thick cask vendors. Vendors will not apply for an NRC license unless they have a customer. Edison needs to be that customer.
  • Commission staff admit the tons of nuclear waste may be here for decades or longer.
  • San Onofre fuel must cool for 25 to 45 years before it can be transported to another facility. For example, the chart below shows 37 fuel assembly canisters must be cooled (wet or dry storage) for 45 years before they can be safely transported.

long-termperformancechallengersboyle2013

  • Proposed consolidated interim sites require federal legislation and funding and have many other obstacles, so it’s critical we have the best available storage technology until the waste can be moved.

Why when the Coastal Commissioners know these canisters cannot be inspected and are subject to cracking would they approve a Coastal Permit? Listen to Commissioner Shallenberger grill NRC Director Lombard:

 

Are California and other U.S. nuclear spent fuel waste canisters cracking?

Intergrain Stress Corrosion Cracking

Microscopic stress corrosion cracks can release radiation

No one knows because there is no technology to inspect or repair cracks in thin stainless steel canisters filled with spent nuclear fuel waste. (Share handout)

San Onofre canisters could start leaking radiation in 5 years (2020), if San Onofre canisters have a failure similar to a Koeberg nuclear power plant component. San Onofre started loading canisters with spent fuel in 2003.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported a similar component at the Koeberg Nuclear Plant cracked and leaked in 17 years. The crack was deeper than the thickness of most U.S. thin canisters. Other factors can also cause canisters to crack and leak. More…

Koeberg is located in a similar corrosive marine environment as San Onofre and Diablo Canyon: on-shore winds, surf and frequent fog.  The Koeberg container had cracks up to a depth of 0.61″. The San Onofre canisters are only 0.625″ thick. The canisters at other California locations, such as Diablo Canyon, are even thinner (0.50″). There are over 2000 loaded canisters in the U.S. Most are 1/2″ (0.50″). More…

The President of Holtec, Kris Singh, says it’s not feasible to repair thin steel canisters. He states even a microscopic crack will release millions of curies of radiation into the environment. In addition, the NRC and their concrete experts state the concrete base of underground storage system are at higher risk of failure (due to moisture and soil chemistry) and are challenging to inspect.

NUHOMS Canister 24 fuel assembly

Thin (1/2″ to 5/8″) steel canister

Southern California Edison, PG&E and other U.S. utilities have no adequate plans to replace cracked canisters and monitoring system only alerts us after canisters leak radiation into the environment. The only proposed “solution” is to put the cracked canister into a thick cask, with no plan of what to do with it next.  There is no NRC approved cask design or procedure for this purpose. It would not solve the problem of needing to replace canisters in case of failure or to meet current Department of Energy (DOE) and Nuclear Regulatory requirements. Cracked canisters are not approved for transport.

HoltecHI-STORM-UMAX-AirFlow

Holtec UMAX storage system has air vents in top for convection cooling. Drawing shows drain that does not exist and doesn’t show air vent pipes. Water and other debris can build up at bottom of hole and block air vent pipes, causing overheating.  Water and other debris must be pumped out through air vents.

Edison plan to spend almost $1.3 billion of ratepayer funds to store and manage 1680 metric tons of San Onofre nuclear waste in thin 5/8” steel canisters that may crack within 20 years after loading.  Their $1.3 billion plan assumes no canister will fail. And they want us to buy vaporware — a product with a vendor promise of a future solution for finding and measuring cracks. Even if they manage to find a solution, there is still no repair solution and nothing to stop them from cracking.

The NRC’s plan is to allow up to a 75% crack in these thin canisters. even though the vendors have no way to locate and measure cracks and there is no seismic rating for cracked canisters. The NRC assumes nothing will go wrong in the first 20 years, and consider “out of scope” anything that may happen after that when they approve the first license. They assume the vendors will eventually solve these problems before these canisters fail. They approved a license renewal for Calvert Cliffs Independent Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSI) in spite of their inability to find cracks in canisters loaded with nuclear fuel.  See August 21, 2015 comments submitted to the NRC on their proposed aging management plan in (NUREG-1927 Rev. 1). The NRC has hidden comments from public view (Docket ID NRC-2015-0106).

The unproven experimental Holtec UMAX underground storage system Edison plans to buy has never been used or tested anywhere in the world and has not yet been approved for high seismic areas. Missouri Callaway nuclear power plant installed the underground system recently. Tentative first spent fuel loading is July 2015. The thin welded canisters are to be inserted in steel lined concrete holes. The unsealed thick top lids have air vents, so the thin canisters and spent nuclear fuel waste do not overheat.

The NRC approved a Holtec license amendment to use the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX system in high seismic risk areas effective September 8, 2015. However, it is not approved for any specific site, including San Onofre; that requires additional approvals. And they are only certified safe for 20 years. Any issues that may occur after 20 years are not considered by the NRC, even though they know they must last for decades and they do not have aging issues resolved. See more details below and on Nuclear Waste page.

.The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensed the Holtec UMAX system effective April 6, 2015, for low seismic areas, for 20 years, by ignoring known aging problems that may occur after 20 years. The NRC required additional seismic analysis and conditions before approving the License Amendment for high seismic risk areas. The NRC has a history of approving nuclear power plants and storage canisters in high seismic areas, such as Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County. And the NRC only requires evaluation of seismic risk on intact canisters, not canisters that may be cracking. More…

Diablo Collecting Dust Samples

Conditions for cracking found in 2-year old Diablo Canyon canister

Conditions for cracking were found on a Diablo Canyon canister in service for only two years. No one knows if it is cracking due to the inability to inspect for cracks, but they know it has all the conditions to initiate cracks. The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is located near the Pacific Ocean in San Luis Obispo County.  Salt in marine environments can corrode these stainless steel canisters and leads to “chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking.” Numerous other environmental factors can corrode thin steel canisters and their concrete overpacks, but the NRC has not fully evaluated these yet. More…

The thin canister vendors, nuclear industry and utilities, and others ignore the Diablo Canyon and Koeberg data when they make unsubstantiated claims these canisters will last. They will claim they are not aware of any cracking problems.  That’s because they do not have technology available to inspect for cracks or to measure crack depth.  More…

Other countries use casks up to 20″ thick that don’t crack and that are transportable without the need to buy an additional transport cask, which the thin canisters require.

Reasons To Buy Thick Casks

Take action now

Current Regulatory Actions

Other Handouts

 Reports and other Documents

Issues

Chart SONGS Chernobyl Other Alvarez Figure 4

San Onofre (SONGS): 89 times more radiation than Chernobyl

San Onofre’s nuclear reactors are shut down. However, thousands of metric tons of radioactive nuclear waste, such as Cesium-137 will remain in California for decades. San Onofre’s spent fuel contains 89 times the amount of Cesium-137 released from Chernobyl.  The waste is not safely stored, putting us at risk for a major nuclear disaster. Please read these facts and share the information. The facts are from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other government and scientific sources.  More…

Stress Corrosion Cracking NRC Slide2 07-14-2014

Spent fuel canisters may fail within 25-30 years.

The (1/2 – 5/8 inch) thin stainless steel canisters storing radioactive nuclear waste at U.S. nuclear power plants may fail within 30 years. There is no current replacement plan.  Waste may need to be stored at nuclear plants sites for over 100 years. Once canisters are loaded with waste, they are no longer inspected for aging or monitored for helium leaks. These are just some of the problems with U.S. dry storage  systems. More…

1/24/2015 San Luis Obispo presentation slides

11/19/2014 NRC presentation slides

This is SanOnofreSafety.org founder Donna Gilmore’s presentation to the NRC on dry cask nuclear waste storage issues, delivered by invitation as part of an NRC Regulatory Conference held Nov. 19-20, 2014 in Rockville, Maryland. Why are the NRC and Southern California Edison favoring inferior, short-lived, thin-walled, unsafe stainless steel canisters to store San Onofre’s tons of nuclear waste in a corrosive seaside environment instead of the long-lasting, thick-walled, top-of-the-line technology available?

Gilmore presents a strong case for regulators and utilities to take the lead in setting the highest possible standards for America’s growing inventory of radioactive waste that will remain deadly for hundreds of thousands of years longer than human civilization has yet existed. With no safe long-term storage sites having been found despite over half a century of attempts to find them, Gilmore urges officials not to ‘play bureaucratic roulette’ with the future of California and the rest of the nation.

Thanks to EON3 for producing this video.  EON3 is a non-profit organization that can use your help to support producing more videos like these.  Please donate to EON3 here.

Nuclear industry vendor, Areva, admits to having no answer to replacing failed nuclear waste storage canisters once spent fuel pools are destroyed. NRC admits to no current method to inspect for cracks in nuclear waste canisters.

Link to the full November 19-20, 2014 NRC Regulatory Conference

Used Nuclear Fuel U.S. 2013 NEI

Over 3240 tons of nuclear waste in California

HIGH BURNUP FUEL: San Onofre and other U.S. reactors switched to 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.

It’s hotter and over twice as radioactive as lower burnup fuel and unpredictable and unstable in storage and transport. The protective Zirconium fuel cladding is more likely to become brittle and shatter.  

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Safety Allegations Charts

Worst safety complaint record in the nation!

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…

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Safety Allegations Charts

Worst safety complaint record in the nation!

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…

Higher burnup = higher cladding failure

Higher burnup = higher cladding failure

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Steam Generator Tubes Plugged Chart

Worst steam generators in the nation!

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.  

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San Onofre Lemons

Artwork: Jessica deStefano, Laguna Beach

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 12/23/2013 NRC Notice of Violation, they stated: “…design control measures were not established to provide for verifying or checking the adequacy of certain designs.”

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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…

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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…

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OTC NPP Highest Damage Chart

Worst marine life damage from OTC.

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Typical Combustion Engineering Steam Generator

Combustion Engineering Steam Generator

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Excess Power without Nuclear Chart

Excess power without nuclear

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….

“If the NRC does not do its job, the American people will demand the ultimate protection – the shutdown of old nuclear power plants…”, says Senator Barbara Boxer to NRC Commissioners
 

Four NRC Commissioners undermine safety. Rep. Darrell Issa appears to support them.

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San Onofre Lemons

Artwork: Jessica deStefano, Laguna Beach

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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

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10 and 50 mile evacuation zones

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.

The NRC lowers safety standards to keep old plants running. More…

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Fukushima Children Radiation TestThere 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…

Photo of children tested for radiation near Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

The NRC lowers safety standards to keep old plants running. More…

Fukushima USA Cesium-137 Fallout Map 2011 NADP

NADP sites where USGS measured Fukushima Cesium-137 in Mar-Apr 2011 precipitation samples. Dot size = relative amounts (0.8 – 240 Bq/m2).

“If the NRC does not do its job, the American people will demand the ultimate protection – the shutdown of old nuclear power plants…”, says Senator Barbara Boxer to NRC Commissioners
 

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Typical Combustion Engineering Steam Generator

Combustion Engineering Steam Generator

The map shows most of Southern California is at the mercy of the wind in the event of a nuclear disaster at San Onofre. The long arrows that point SW and SSW represent the offshore winds at night but those winds turn onshore when the inland areas heat up in the morning.

Song-Radius-Wind_2

California Fallout Fukushima Happened 2011-03-11-12 NRDCWhat if the Fukushima nuclear fallout crisis had happened in California? These radioactive plumes from severe nuclear accidents were calculated by NRDC based on the actual weather patterns of March 11-12, 2011. The result on any given day will vary according to the type of reactor accident and on the prevailing weather patterns at the time. These plumes artificially extend only to 50 feet. Winds can carry them further.  See NRDC interactive U.S. map.

 Actions 

Radioactive Cesium from Japan was found in tuna in San Diego. Kelp along the Orange County coast contained Fukushima radiationRadiation 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.

160 Mile Wind Pattern Map near San Onofre

This map shows the wind rose from the January 2011 San Diego County Nuclear Emergency Response Plan superimposed over the 160 mile evacuation zone contemplated by the former Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan and his nuclear experts in the early days of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011 when TEPCO was about to abandon the out of control power plant.

“If the NRC does not do its job, the American people will demand the ultimate protection – the shutdown of old nuclear power plants…”, says Senator Barbara Boxer to NRC Commissioners
 

Four NRC Commissioners undermine safety. Rep. Darrell Issa appears to support them.

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Thanks

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 UlrichShaun BernieDamon Moglen and S. David Freeman with Friends of the EarthArnie and Maggie Gundersen, Fairewinds AssociatesDan Hirsch, Committee to Bridge the GapSenator Barbara Boxer; and 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.

38 Responses to Home

  1. Julie Tully says:

    This is an essential web site. I have shared it with friends and have asked them to forward it to their friends. This site will be a powerful tool in getting the job done — closing the doors on SanO and creating a safe haven within all of Southern California. Julie Tully

  2. Statement of Concern:
    ROSE believes that the NRC’s stated alternative to Change the Waste Confidence away from the small step approach to the long-term Waste Confidence program for 200 years to make nuclear power plant sites into nuclear waste dumps for 200 years is shortsighted and completely without regard for the safety of the millions of citizens who populate the areas around these power plants.
    This type of decision by the NRC, demands that the public take action to secure its own safety from the hazards of such a nuclear waste dump in their vicinity wherever it is located. It calls into question the very mandate itself of the NRC “Protecting People and the Environment” and leads us to the conclusion that the NRC is no longer capable of Protecting the People and the Environment. This may mean it is time to consider disbanding the NRC and forming a new protective agency led by the citizens themselves who have no vested interest in protecting the nuclear industry.

    NRC Draft Report for Comment Dec 2011 Waste storage policy. Background and Preliminary Assumptions For an Environmental Impact Statement.—Long-Term Waste Confidence Update. States
    6. Alternatives Under the National Environmental Policy Act
    “The proposed action is a change to the Commission.’s current Waste Confidence decision and rule, which requires the Commission to revisit the issue of Waste Confidence every five to ten years. As part of this process, the Commission has revised Waste Confidence twice since 1984, and each time has expanded the temporal scope of its analysis by a few decades. This long-term Waste Confidence update would move away from this small-step approach, and would extend the temporal scope of Waste Confidence by as many as 200 years. The EIS will include an analysis of the impacts of four storage scenarios in order to assess the magnitude and range of impacts and the safety of extended storage. Section 8 of this report discusses these scenarios. As with the current Waste Confidence rule and decision, the Waste Confidence EIS will generically describe the potential impacts of extended storage and will assume that the storage of spent nuclear fuel will continue to be a regulated activity in the future. Unlike the current Waste Confidence rule and decision, this long-term Waste Confidence EIS will not require reconsideration of a possible update to the rule and decision every five to ten years.

  3. Whatever my husband & I can do to shut san onofre down-let us know -please!
    Thank you – K.Stewart

  4. 1captd says:

    We now are being ruled by those in Nuclear Denial*; instead of by Leaders that demand an end to the Trillion Dollar Eco-Disast­er RISK that Nuclear poses to mankind! The nuclear industry is fighting tooth and nail to maintain it’s market share; yet NOW Solar (of all flavors) is far less costly to construct, faster to construct and carries with it N☢ Nuclear radioactiv­e baggage that can kill a Countries economy and or those living nearby!
    Ask The Japanese!

    *Nuclear Denial
    http://is.­gd/XPjMd0
    The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

  5. 1captd says:

    Many, many more would install Solar if the Utility paid those that installed Solar for the energy they put INTO the grid, at the very same rate that the Utility charges for that same Energy to folks that take Energy OUT of the Grid! By not paying the same amount, the Utility shareholders receive additional money they do not deserve and the folks that have installed solar end up with a much longer payback period!

    It is time to STOP THE SOLAR ENERGY RIPOFF! http://is.gd/eQog1d

    • Annette Trisler says:

      1catpd –

      We’ve had a solar system for 6 years now, and we’re connected into the grid. Essentially we use the grid, instead of batteries. Feeding our excess in and drawing our shortfall. On an annual basis we about break even.

      I wanted to let you know though, that we have a net metering agreement with SCE and we are paid the same $amount/kwh for our production and usage. That’s why we opted for our grid-tie in. Which utility does not pay the same amount that they charge?

      • Annette Trisler says:

        Incidentally, we financed our system (when home equity loans were still available) so that our monthly payment equalled our average electricity bill. That way, we ensured that so long as our consumption levels did not increase, neither would our electricity cost. It’s worked out great for us.

        Incidentally, when we designed our system we were advised to underproduce, just a bit. This is because the utilities would not reimburse for our overproduction. However, Schwarzenegger changed this on his way out with a program to provide payment for net surplus generation.

        Contrary to all the bad press, solar has actually been a great investment on many levels for this middle-income family.

        Check out the California net metering details at: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/solar_basics/net_metering.php

      • Joe Holtzman says:

        SCE charges approx $.14 per KWH, but only pays you approx $.04 per KWH for your excess [solar] energy provided to the grid over your needs. This is just another example of the customer by SCE !

      • Annette Trisler says:

        http://hollywood.patch.com/articles/mayor-authorizes-dwp-to-buy-solar-power-from-l-a-homes-businesses-4093bcc2

        Hey John – I’m not sure about that. Essentially our meter spins backward or forward depending upon our usage. We’re charged the kwh rate for our annual consumption (production is already deducted out on a kwh basis, so I don’t think a distinction is made for pricing consumption/production… the net amount is simply billed at the tier rate where it falls. I will call SCE net metering and ask for confirmation though.

        Regardless, it’s saved us a ton of money over the 7 years since we’ve had it installed. Our electricity cost has not increased, while we’ve watched our neighbors’ electricity bills skyrocket.

        Specific to your concern though, check out the article linked above – looks like LADWP solar customers have got some good news coming their way.

      • Joe Holtzman says:

        Yes, you are right in that you offset your use. However any excess energy that exists at your Tru Up Period, once a year is only paid in cash to you at a rate of approx. .037 cents per kwh. Typically SCE bills first tier customers 4 plus times that value.

      • Annette Trisler says:

        Joe – That may very well be the pricing structure for the annual net production surplus. However, the pricing is equal for the production/consumption throughout the year, which is absolutely the primary concern for a residential application. We installed our solar photovoltaic system in order to reduce our consumption of electricity from polluting sources and to reduce our electricity cost. We have accomplished both, and that really should be the message to people who are considering installing solar panels at their residences. To restate an earlier post, when we installed the system 7 years ago the utilities were not mandated to reimburse us for any annual surplus electricity fed into the grid… and we installed the system anyway because selling annual surplus electricity was not an income producing goal of ours. Even without that “gravy,” we have come out ahead.

        I’ve got to say, I don’t begrudge SCE for not voluntarily paying us their retail rate for our annual overproduction, because it would be a bit like expecting Vons to pay me the retail rate they charge for oranges for all the oranges I bring to them off my backyard tree.

      • Joe Holtzman says:

        Agree, my solar provides all my needs–plus excess I supply to the grid.

        My point is fair compensation for excess was suppressed by SCE, SD&GE, ahd PG&E with complicity from the CPUC. If you look at the German model fair compensation is paid for excess energy thus promoting the installation of solar—not nuclear sources.

      • Annette Trisler says:

        Got it, thanks.

  6. 1captd says:

    I believe that once California consumers and especially California property owners realize that they are NOT covered for any type of fallout, leakage or contamination caused by radioactivity, they will begin to reexamine their “trust” in nuclear because of their financial liability!

    Question: How many in Southern California (for example) could afford to just walk away from their homes if one of the reactors in California had a meltdown for any reason; without even considering the health implications later? The answer of course is NOT MANY! We have only to see what has happened in Japan to get a good idea; in short America cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster any better than Japan.

    Remember most of the “rest” of America is downwind from the West Coast! Japan has been “lucky” in that regard ,since most of its radioactivity has move toward eastward North America and the rest of the planet; yet most of Northern Japan is now contaminated!

  7. CaptD says:

    Forget all the talk about “NEEDING SAN ONOFRE”
    It is just Nuclear Baloney (NB) and not factual or actual “Load Demand”!

    San Onofre is now off the grid and guess what:
    California is still getting along quite nicely without them!

    Bye Bye San Onofre…

  8. CaptD says:

    I too have been watching since 3/11 and Japans Trillion Dollar Eco-Disast­er has also affected many of us globally!

    I have considered myself a supporter of Japan and Japanese products for a very long time but 3/11 has fundamenta­lly changed my opinion of the Japanese Gov’t !

    I never considered that the Japanese Gov’t. would allow global radioactiv­e pollution to “be made in Japan” yet after 11 months it still continues, PLUS the ongoing radioactiv­e pollution continues to be covered up and or SPUN by TEPCO, with the Gov’t.’s approval!

    What I now understand is that the Japanese culture is lacking something very basic, which is the ability to just say NO! By not being able to say NO, the Japanese people have no way to guide their Leaders or change their Countries Policy! Japan is doomed to additional suffering because Man cannot control Nature, despite what all nuclear engineers say… Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

    Please Respect Nature

    It’s OK to just say N☢

    The World is watching

  9. F. Williamson says:

    BE AFRAID — BE *VERY* AFRAID!

    What Mrs. Chambers wrote is SPOT ON!!

    I was there and I could tell you tales that would curl your hair. She is 100% correct.

    The plant is only as safe as the people who operate it. For DECADES the place has been diseased with an epidemic of autocratic egomaniacs, ‘rank and file’, ‘good old boy’ entitlement mentality. Juvenile politics rules that place. Not ethics or morals.

    For decades every independent audit has concluded that the plant is way too top heavy (too many supervisors and managers). And every time to ‘counter’ the findings, they play name games and staffing roulette to shuffle everyone around until they ‘make everything look right.’

  10. neubarth says:

    I have pointed out to many people but few have heard me. San Clemente Island (to the lower left of the map up above) has a fault line running right along the eastern side of the island. That side of the island is sheer as it if broke away and slid off to the right of the island in two large movements like this <. Look at the chart and you can see the underwater mounds of what obviously was the northern and southern end of what used to be the eastern half of San Clemente. Once you see it, pay attention. I have been on the island. There is a fault clearly visible on the northern half of the island. It is hard to see on the southern half, but it looks like it is trying to split San Clemente in half again from North to South. If even one half of the northern eastern part of the island fell into the ocean, it would generate a tsunami like wave that could be sixty or seventy feet high. Now, look at the underwater topography of the ocean floor and you will see that THAT WAVE would have a clear shot at the coast right were San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant is located. Now, I know a geologist will tell you that THAT will not happen for 10,000 years and he will probably be right, but I would feel a lot more safer if that Nuclear Fuel was not there in the first place.

  11. stephen Crane says:

    GREAT WEBSITE. I HOPE WE WILL BEcome more involved SOON.

  12. MajorTom says:

    Houston, we have a problem!!!
    Can you hear me Houston?
    Houston?

  13. Eric says:

    Keep it closed and shut it down for good. The risks are not worth the rewards with San-O.

  14. neubarth says:

    Let’s get San Onofre shut down! I figure that the San Onofre plant over the past 40 years has killed close to a million people with radioactive particulate discharge. Remember, Radioactive Particulate gets discharged to the environment when Uranium is dug up from the ground, and when it is shipped, and when it is processed, and when the nuclear plant is in operation, and when waste products are stored, and when the fuel is stored and when it is reprocessed and shipped elsewhere and so on. It is just a never ending nightmare of constant pollution of the environment. Most of that pollution ends up in the soil, and then in our food (both animal and vegetable) and then inside us. Once that radioactive particulate decays in our body it is 400 to 500 times more likely to cause cancer than just an ordinary Cosmic Radiation strike coming from outside the body. As I keep on telling people, the horrific Eight Fold increase in Cancer in the past century is largely do to radioactive particulate in the enviroment and in our bodies. The three largest sources of that radioactive particulate have been the Nuclear Industry, the Coal Industry and the Tobacco Industry (radioactive Lead and Polonium is in tobacco smoke. Thank God, people have cut back in smoking and the lung cancer rate has fallen proportionately.)

  15. neubarth says:

    Even if we were to shut down the entire nuclear industry today, the pollution of the environment will remain for thousands of years continuing to kill and cause DNA damage for thousands of years, as well. Not only have we had an 8 fold increase in Cancer in the past century, we have had a tremendous increase in DNA damage related illnesses. Every year the medical industry is discovering new illnesses that are caused by radiation strikes in developing ovas and sperm cells. Once a child is created with one of those defective ovas or sperm, it can develop the new genetic illness or it can be a carrier of a new genetic illness and can pass it on to future generations. Having these new genetic illnesses is not a curse from God. IT IS A CURSE FROM MAN, and it will continue to curse man for thousands of years and endless generations as long as people carrying those DNA defects continue passing those defective genes on to their offspring.

  16. JL Sener says:

    Great job of educating the public. This is a battle by the PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE.

  17. Arlen Tackett says:

    Alternative energy. Wind and solar. Especially in Calif. Put the money there, not into nuclear.

  18. Tor Nerheim says:

    Energy made $$$$, getting rid of a plus 20,000 year problem is deadly & will cost the hole planet $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ & death of a planet. Can terrorists use nuke waste for a dirty bomb?
    For now we can use it in tooth paste!

  19. MajorTom says:

    I found this article yesterday which should be of interest to all readers here:
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/harvey-wasserman/49598/san-onofre-at-the-no-nukes-brink

    We still need to keep fighting this battle until the job at hand is finished.
    Contact Senator Boxer and tell her that you are relying on her, and the NRC oversight committee she chairs in Congress, to take appropriate measures to protect southern California from a potential nuclear disaster.

  20. Deeann says:

    Congratulations and sincere thanks to Donna and all of those who worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring attention to the San Onofre safety issues.

    “Edison will shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant for good”
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-edison-closing-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-20130607,0,7920425.story

  21. rsauerheber says:

    Thanks Donna Gilmore for being faithful in fighting against the disastrous problem of using filthy nuclear fission reactions on earth and even near population centers like San Clemente. The created plutonium should never have existed in the first place and now we are forced to somehow figure out what to do with it. There has never been an answer and “nuclear engineers” would never be stopped from developing these facilities while they assumed “someone” would “someday” have an answer. The lethal filth they have created, they themselves are powerless to remedy. Hiding the solid filth in caverns in New Mexico is the method used by the military for nuclear bomb waste. But the gaseous emissions that have gone on at an San Onofre and other locations like it have already occurred. It is a misuse of the term “science” to claim these are “nuclear power plants,” as though they can simply be switched off when they become useless.
    We are opposed to Iran building these plants and the U.S. needs to oppose them here as well. The direct dumping of radiation waste from these plants into the Atlantic Ocean by nuclear “scientists” in France is an international travesty. Accidents are one thing, but intentional disbursement is a complete lack of understanding of physiology on the part of the perpetrators. France is one of my favorite countries due to Joan of Arc, Normandie, etc., so this hurts.

  22. Carol Krupp says:

    real issues California faces.

    “Re: Scientist claims radiation found in Pacific Ocean from Fukushima waste”

    scorpiorockmoney, Seattle, United States, 2 months ago (Nov 2014)

    LIES! The radiation leak is coming from much much closer. Don’t let the media lie to you. The leak started before Aug 7th, 2013. My father was killed for his knowledge on the leak. The leak is located at S.O.N.G.S. San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, and is leaking right next to the most popular beaches in California. My father was Scientist #3 / Attorney Jeffery Thornton Allen. They told us he hung himself in his closet, but he was the Attorney on the lawsuit against Mitsubishi for 42 Billion dollars. He knew of all mistakes made by the plant and all precautions involved. He knew too much and was completely against any cover up. Which is why they ended his life. Their intention is to pass the buck onto Japan and blame it on a tsunami, when in fact both plants started leaking at the same time and no tsunami ever hit Orange County. My father knew that Mitsubishi was in charge of the containment of both nuclear plants, and I can’t wait for the day my family sees restitution. Truth.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2837603/Fukushima-radiation-detected-California-coast-Low-levels-isotope-2011-nuclear-disaster-found.html#ixzz3QMAMbruv
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  23. basG says:

    I miss the damage nuclear waste storage spread around on the genes/DNA of newborn from fathers living ~5km to 40km away from the storage facility.*)
    Important as that increased DNA damage transfers to next generations!

    That influence, via the escaping neutron-argon41-gamma mechanisms, caused the premature closure of Germany’s prime nuclear waste storage site; Gorleben!**)

    While the thick-walled dry casks (castors) are inside a big building with 50cm thick armed concrete walls and (20cm thick) ceiling. But the natural ventilation to transport the castors generated heat out of the building. But that air contains increased levels of argon41 due to collision with neutrons which escaped from the castors. Part of the neutrons also pass through the concrete ceiling and the walls. Pictures of the building in the recent annual radiation measurement reports: http://bit.ly/1NYNaMw

    You may assume that the US thin-walled casks emit more neutrons as their walls absorb far less. Furthermore that placing them in the open air contributes further to increased DNA damage.

    ___
    *) http://bit.ly/1HC0N2M
    Research and theory show that DNA of the sperm of fathers living 1-5km away is hardly affected by the escaping neutron-argon41-gamma mechanisms, just as that from fathers living >40km away (theory starts at sheet 21): http://goo.gl/URQ6vA

    **) The large building (500x20meter) contains only 113 castors. It was closed after a discussion process taking a few years.
    An important factor were the damaging results of the due diligence study with extra scope, by authors who were convinced that the waste storage couldn’t create DNA damage so far away (and no damage nearby). To their unpleasant surprise, they found even stronger DNA damage in the added areas. The m/f sex ratio of newborn increased from ~1.02 towards 1.13 in areas 20-30km away (more increase downwind in line with theory): http://bit.ly/1Qs4bjU

    Authorities then organized a conference with all parties: http://bit.ly/1MjKRBA
    (PPT’s used at the conference in the link at the bottom of the page).
    The discussion was won by Scherb etal as those got the assignment for the final report (Oct’14): http://bit.ly/1N8CYT3
    Resulting in the premature closure this summer by federal government: http://bit.ly/1PxHwlX

    ***) additional remarks:
    – Neutrons have high penetration capability. Remember the neutron bomb which is intended to kill soviet tank crews behind 50cm armored steel without damaging local infra or the tank.
    Of course NPP’s spread similar DNA damage, though lower levels (if operated well): http://bit.ly/1Uhr5L7

    – Sperm is produced via extreme high frequent cell division and at cell division DNA cannot be repaired as it is then single stranded. So at the moment of production sperm is very sensitive for radiation, even far more than fetuses!
    Produced sperm dies within a week in the body of the father (unless used for conception, etc).
    So the father’s position (irradiation) in the days & hours before conception is the most relevant variable. Birth registers contain the place where the parents live.

    – female DNA in sperm is ~3% larger. So when 50% of all female DNA is damaged deadly, the m/f sex ratio increases ~3% as male DNA has a 3% lower chance to be hit by a radiation particle. The av. increase in m/f sex ratio in the zone up to 40km away was 6%, which implies roughly that the DNA was killed in 75% of the sperm cells. However, when hit by a radiation particle DNA is often only damaged, which implies that the newborn has significant higher level of damage in his DNA.

    – this m/f sex ratio increase is already noticed in the 1958 UNSCEAR report to the UN general assembly. It is also found elsewhere. E.g. Sellafield workers operating in radiation areas get 30% more boys than girls, etc.

  24. gbsr says:

    I miss the damage nuclear waste storage spread around on the genes/DNA of newborn from fathers living ~5km to 40km away from the storage facility.*)
    Important as that increased DNA damage transfers to next generations!

    That influence, via the escaping neutron-argon41-gamma mechanisms, caused the premature closure of Germany’s prime nuclear waste storage site; Gorleben!**)

    While the thick-walled dry casks (castors) are inside a big building with 50cm thick armed concrete walls and (20cm thick) ceiling. But the natural ventilation to transport the castors generated heat out of the building. But that air contains increased levels of argon41 due to collision with neutrons which escaped from the castors. Part of the neutrons also pass through the concrete ceiling and the walls. Pictures of the building in the recent annual radiation measurement reports: http://bit.ly/1NYNaMw

    You may assume that the US thin-walled casks emit more neutrons as their walls absorb far less. Furthermore that placing them in the open air contributes further to increased DNA damage.

    ___
    *) http://bit.ly/1HC0N2M
    Research and theory show that DNA of the sperm of fathers living 1-5km away is hardly affected by the escaping neutron-argon41-gamma mechanisms, just as that from fathers living >40km away (theory starts at sheet 21): http://goo.gl/URQ6vA

    **) The large building (500x20meter) contains only 113 castors. It was closed after a discussion process taking a few years.
    An important factor were the damaging results of the due diligence study with extra scope, by authors who were convinced that the waste storage couldn’t create DNA damage so far away (and no damage nearby). To their unpleasant surprise, they found even stronger DNA damage in the added areas. The m/f sex ratio of newborn increased from ~1.02 towards 1.13 in areas 20-30km away (more increase downwind in line with theory): http://bit.ly/1Qs4bjU

    Authorities then organized a conference with all parties: http://bit.ly/1MjKRBA
    (PPT’s used at the conference in the link at the bottom of the page).
    The discussion was won by Scherb etal as those got the assignment for the final report (Oct’14): http://bit.ly/1N8CYT3
    Resulting in the premature closure this summer by federal government: http://bit.ly/1PxHwlX

    ***) additional remarks:
    – Neutrons have high penetration capability. Remember the neutron bomb which is intended to kill soviet tank crews behind 50cm armored steel without damaging local infra or the tank.
    Of course NPP’s spread similar DNA damage, though lower levels (if operated well): http://bit.ly/1Uhr5L7

    – Sperm is produced via extreme high frequent cell division and at cell division DNA cannot be repaired as it is then single stranded. So at the moment of production sperm is very sensitive for radiation, even far more than fetuses!
    Produced sperm dies within a week in the body of the father (unless used for conception, etc).
    So the father’s position (irradiation) in the days & hours before conception is the most relevant variable. Birth registers contain the place where the parents live.

    – female DNA in sperm is ~3% larger. So when 50% of all female DNA is damaged deadly, the m/f sex ratio increases ~3% as male DNA has a 3% lower chance to be hit by a radiation particle. The av. increase in m/f sex ratio in the zone up to 40km away was 6%, which implies roughly that the DNA was killed in 75% of the sperm cells. However, when hit by a radiation particle DNA is often only damaged, which implies that the newborn has significant higher level of damage in his DNA.

    – this m/f sex ratio increase is already noticed in the 1958 UNSCEAR report to the UN general assembly. It is also found elsewhere. E.g. Sellafield workers operating in radiation areas get 30% more boys than girls, etc.

  25. Pingback: 8.02.2016 Naked Links | Daily Links & News

  26. I am glad that you re getting the deserved credit and recognition: https://youtu.be/ktNTtpiJpoU
    However, I don’t buy that they didn’t know! Hydrogen attack and corrosion are basic problems – they are a bigger problem for nuke industry but problem for petroleum pipelines and cars, etc.

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