San Onofre dry storage casks
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A man driving a stolen delivery van he claimed was loaded with explosives was apprehended in a restricted area at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating station on Tuesday afternoon (September 12).

According to sheriff's deputy Melissa Aquino, 27-year-old Erik Jon Norman drove past the entrance gates to the plant shortly before 4:30. He was quickly detained by on-site security in a restricted access parking lot, at which point he told guards the van "contained electronic equipment and possibly explosives."

Sheriff's deputies and a bomb/arson unit responded to the scene, where they determined the van had been stolen in Oceanside earlier in the day. Rather than explosive material, they found only common shipping parcels on board. Norman was later booked into the Vista jail. He will face charges related to the auto theft.

While power generation activities at San Onofre ceased several years ago, roughly 3.6 million pounds of highly radioactive nuclear waste remain in storage at the site. If an explosive device were detonated, roughly 8.5 million people would live in a contamination zone defined by proximity to the stored casks and cooling pools.

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monaghan Sept. 14, 2017 @ 12:30 p.m.

Let's take a moment to recall that former state legislator Christine Kehoe was exploring a nuclear power renaissance in California just before the earthquake off Fukushima, Japan, created a disastrous dead zone from a shore-based nuclear plant that was destroyed by a tsunami there. When you think of San Onofre, remember Fukushima.


Cassander Sept. 15, 2017 @ 10:50 a.m.

What the hell?! Someone with a screw loose was able to breach the perimeter of a nuclear waste storage facility? If it had been real terrorists with a plan and guns blazing, they could have made it to the containers and caused a catastrophe.

There's no reason for this facility to have less security now than it did when the plant was active; and if this doesn't kick our elected leaders to ensure against future incidents, then we're literally cooked.


CaptD Sept. 15, 2017 @ 8:43 p.m.

SCE and SDG&E (a 20% owner) want everyone to keep letting them take huge amounts of ratepayer money for doing a POOR job of managing the San Onofre complex! Since 1/31/12 when SCE caused the failure of San Onofre Unit 3 by running it over it's NRC "redline" and the CPUC looked the other way (thanks to a behind closed door deal between SCE and the then Chairman of the CPUC) ratepayers have been getting screwed. This incident is yet another reminder that anything less than perfection puts all of SoCal in danger!


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