Tuesday, June 19, 2012

News from San Clemente Green

please visit this page:
San Clemente Green Header
San Clemente Green UpdateIssue No. 005
An overflow crowd of concerned citizens attended the NRC/Edison
 meeting on Monday - June 18
Click this link to see one of many news stories 
on this important topic.


Much of the information being shared by the NRC and Edison was not "news" to many of the 500 or more people who showed up for the meeting. The real news had to do with Friends of the Earth, who announced the legal filing they initiated to challenge the process which allowed the new but flawed steam generators to be installed in the first place. Edison's claim that they were exchanging generators that were "like for like" parts allowed them to evade further scrutiny by the NRC to conduct a thorough review process. NRC seems to have been negligent in not probing further and accepting Edison's claim without question.

With the formal petition filed, Friends of the Earth aims to have the decision of when the power plant can be reactivated taken away from the commission. Instead, according to the legal process the group set in motion, a judge would decide when the San Onofre plant could start up again, said Bill Walker of Friends of the Earth. Eventually, the lawsuit would lead to a court trial with witness testimony, Walker said. "We're asking for a federal judge to step in and handle the issue as opposed to the NRC. The changes were significant and a full re-licensing is required," Walker said. 

In the meeting, a weary crowd listened to the drone of technical information being espoused by the officials, hanging in there long enough to finally get to the real reason they were in attendance. Finally the floor was opened to the public. Some very astute questions were posed by a surprisingly well informed audience. Dan Hirsch of Committee to Bridge the Gap, was especially effective at squeezing specific information from Edison regarding the number of tubes damaged, after several failed attempts at deflecting his questions. The number turned out to be far higher than anyone seemed to want to admit, but persistence paid off. He also amped up the pressure on the NRC to handle this matter in the courts and not simply resolve this crucial concern through the normal procedures between the NRC and Edison. Elmo Collins, Regional Administrator said that possibility was being taken into consideration at the highest levels of the NRC.

As for my own contribution to the meeting, I decided to approach the situation from a broad perspective, taking the steam generator issue as just a part of the bigger picture. I made an analogy comparing the relationship between NRC and Edison to a co-dependent gambling addiction. Of course, that went over like you might expect any intervention to go, and the NRC facilitator cut me off before I could complete the conclusion I was building up to (see full text of my speech below). At the end of the night they finally gave me an opportunity to complete my thoughts, but by 9:30, half the audience had gone home. If this was a test of the NRC's claim to want to become more transparent and open, I'd say they fell short. However, I do give them credit for staying longer and getting much more public input than in the past.

Gary Headrick

please visit this page:
News from San Clemente Green

No comments:

Post a Comment