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Nuclear waste at the beach saves money is why

Of course Edison opts for less labor and red-tape rigor

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Local activist Donna Gilmore points out that back in October, engineers involved in decommissioning shuttered nuclear plants stressed that fast transfer of deadly nuclear waste into dry casks saves a utility money. That appears to be a good explanation of why Edison, while it was promising to look for burial sites other than next to the ocean, has sped ahead with the project, endangering people within a 50-mile radius of the closed San Onofre plant.

A report in October came from a publication, NuclearEnergyInsider.com. Gilmore points out the key words from that article: “Swift fuel transfer into dry cask storage generates significant cost savings for operators by reducing monitoring and security requirements and cutting labor costs.”

In short, corporate profits, high stock prices, and ridiculously high top-management pay are far more important to Edison than the safety of millions of people.

On August 28 of last year, Edison said it would look for another site for the San Onofre nuclear waste. But it continued work on the burying of the nuclear waste right near the ocean. This is still another reason why I maintain that Edison never had any intention of possibly moving the site of the deadly material. The announcement that Edison would look for another out-of-state location was a charade, in my opinion.

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San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Local activist Donna Gilmore points out that back in October, engineers involved in decommissioning shuttered nuclear plants stressed that fast transfer of deadly nuclear waste into dry casks saves a utility money. That appears to be a good explanation of why Edison, while it was promising to look for burial sites other than next to the ocean, has sped ahead with the project, endangering people within a 50-mile radius of the closed San Onofre plant.

A report in October came from a publication, NuclearEnergyInsider.com. Gilmore points out the key words from that article: “Swift fuel transfer into dry cask storage generates significant cost savings for operators by reducing monitoring and security requirements and cutting labor costs.”

In short, corporate profits, high stock prices, and ridiculously high top-management pay are far more important to Edison than the safety of millions of people.

On August 28 of last year, Edison said it would look for another site for the San Onofre nuclear waste. But it continued work on the burying of the nuclear waste right near the ocean. This is still another reason why I maintain that Edison never had any intention of possibly moving the site of the deadly material. The announcement that Edison would look for another out-of-state location was a charade, in my opinion.

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Comments
18

Water is wet, the sky is blue, and Edison officials are corrupt. The last one at least we could theoretically have some control over. Except water is wet, the sky is blue, and our politicians are corrupt.

Which means we'll soon have "San Diego is uninhabitable" added as a truism.

Jan. 11, 2018

Cassandra: Good analysis. But it may take hundreds of years to make you a prophet. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 13, 2018

Move SDG&E and Sempra Energy offices to the San Onofre site. There's plenty of land, parking and that view of those lovely boob-like radioactive time-bombs. If all the suits had to work within a few yards of that nuclear waste site, they might think differently about the problem being that if would be in their face.

Jan. 11, 2018

Ponzi: Good idea. But since Sempra and Edison have politicians in their pockets, there is no one to make it happen. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 13, 2018

Plenty of land and parking? Really? Obviously, you haven't parked there. Plenty of suits do "work within a few yards of that nuclear waste site" and are happy to do so. They think people like you are clueless crackpots speaking about subjects you have little knowledge or experience in...I fully agree. BTW, the "boob-like" containment domes are not radioactive time-bombs nor is the fuel itself. It is impossible for the fuel to explode, not unlikely, impossible.

Jan. 26, 2018

You people are like silly children clinging to belief in Santa Claus. There is no possibility San Onofre's spent fuel is going ANYWHERE -- not until the country has either an interim spent fuel storage site or a permanent site at Yucca Mountain or somewhere. Until one of those things happen, there is no legal way for the stuff to be moved. APS will not accept the stuff at its Palo Verde plant nor is there any legal way to send it there. SONGS is stuck with storing the stuff onsite, and that's why SCE is moving ahead with dry cask storage.

Jan. 11, 2018

Pawtyphoon: Don't call me a baby. For one thing, I am 81. But the most important reason is that I have been singing your song for a long time. Edison has no intention to look for another site, and if it found one, there would be no way to transport the waste there because of voter objections. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 13, 2018

"...there would be no way to transport the waste there because of voter objections."

So what do you propose? And by voter objections, you mean anti-nuke crackpots?

Jan. 26, 2018

Existing San Onofre thin-wall nuclear fuel waste canisters are up to 15 years old. Loading began in 2003. They may already be cracking, but have not been inspected for cracks. They don't even have a way to adequately do that. That's only one of many problems with these cans. A change in the law won't change that. Transport route is likely through Los Angeles on vibrating train tracks. What could possibly go wrong? Thin-wall cans must be replaced with thick-wall casks that don't crack. If this doesn't happen, nothing else will matter. SanOnofreSafety.org

Jan. 12, 2018

Donna Gilmore: How right you are. See my recent interview with Tom English. Both the canisters and the concrete are inadequate. Edison knows it. But current top management will be dead by the time of the nuclear catastrophe. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 13, 2018

"Both the canisters and the concrete are inadequate."

Not according to the NRC who has placed their stamp of approval on both. The cast iron casks the anti-nuke crackpots want Edison to use are not licensed in America for storage, were refused a license to transport, and are too heavy for SONGs crane equipment.

Jan. 26, 2018

"They don't even have a way to adequately do that."

That is a lie and you know it. At a recent CEP meeting they demonstrated the technology AND they have done so at two different sites. While the entire US nuclear industry and much of the world uses the canister based system, you prefer a system that was designed to facilitate reprocessing of used fuel, not for permanent storage as is the case here. You are deliberately misinforming the public.

"Transport route is likely through Los Angeles..." How do you know, a permanent site hasn't even been chosen thanks in part, to anti-nukes railing against Yucca Mt.

"...vibrating train tracks..."? Tests have been conducted where trains collide with transport canisters resulting in nothing more than cosmetic damage and you want citizens to worry about "vibrating train tracks"? This is why your opinion is untrustworthy...in addition to your lying.

The canister based system has been built, the canisters purchased, Edison will NOT be replacing them with the cast iron casks you prefer and that the NRC refused to license for transport (due to the fear that they might shatter if dropped), lack a license for storage, and are too heavy to be used by SONGs crane equipment, get over it.

Jan. 26, 2018

Donna, thanks for all the time and effort you and many others are giving to this. Two questions: 1. do we have a cost estimate, and time frame, of what it would take to go with the much safer 10-20" thick containers? And where could the funds come from for these? 2. are you aware of any type of Emergency Plan in case there is some type of accident that would in fact protect the 8.5 million people in the 50-mile radius? This seems blatantly obvious to me that this is badly needed, regardless of what happens with the canisters or waste material, while it's all being sorted out. Yet I have been unable to find any type of meaningful plan

Jan. 12, 2018

The plan is: RUN or drive fast in the opposite direction! You're on your own.

Jan. 13, 2018

daverice1: Yes, Donna is right on all counts. Could Edison provide thicker canisters and more solid concrete? Of course. But it might shave Edison's earnings per share and cost an executive already raking in millions a year his or her bonus. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 13, 2018

"...what it would take to go with the much safer 10-20" thick containers?"

They're NOT safer, were designed to facilitate reprocessing of used fuel, hence why they have a bolted, mechanical seal for easy fuel retrieval, not the double seal welds used on the canisters Edison is using. A mechanical seal is inferior to a seal weld IF the purpose is to permanently seal...which is the purpose here.

Edison will not be using the cast iron casks lying Donna prefers as the canister based system is more appropriate for the situation, can be lifted by the installed crane equipment (Donna's casks cannot, they're too heavy), and actually have NRC approval, something Donna's casks do NOT have (they were actually refused a license to transport).

There is now and always has been an emergency plan at San Onofre.

Jan. 26, 2018

dwbat: Running won't help in a nuclear disaster. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 13, 2018

I don't need the schoolmarmish correction. My comment was not to be taken seriously. It was HUMOR. Lighten up!

Jan. 26, 2018

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