Sen. Boxer Reads SCE’s Request for EXEMPTION from ALL Off Site Evacuation Plans at SONGS!

Senator Boxer reads SCE’s Request to be EXEMPT from ALL Offsite Evacuation Plans at San Onofre to NRC Chairman McFarlane! The NRC received the request March 30, 2014 but has yet to review it. The exemption includes: NO Alarms, No Warning Sirens, NO Ev…

Continue reading

Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2014

Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2014
Is 50 Miles Enough?

Washington, D.C. — Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) introduced three bills today aimed at improving the safety and security of decommissioning reactors and the storage of spent nuclear fuel at nuclear plants across the nation.

When spent nuclear fuel is removed from the part of the reactor that generates electricity, it continues to produce significant quantities of heat and radiation for years. Spent nuclear fuel is too dangerous to be removed from the spent fuel pools for 5-7 years. Studies conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and independent experts have shown that partial draining of the water from a spent fuel pool caused by an accident or terrorist attack could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination. However, NRC regulations allow spent fuel to remain stored in spent fuel pools until the reactor completes decommissioning, which can take as long as 60 years. Current NRC regulations also allow the NRC and the nuclear plant operator to adopt a decommissioning plan without considering the concerns of nearby states and communities. The three bills introduced today will solve all of these problems.

Senator Boxer said: “ In my home state of California, the San Onofre nuclear plant has closed permanently, and this legislation will help guarantee that this facility, and others like it, are safely decommissioned and are no longer a liability for local communities.”

Senator Sanders said: “Every state with a nuclear power plant has a strong interest in how that plant is decommissioned. This is about making sure that states and local communities can play a meaningful role in a decision that has enormous economic, environmental, and community impacts.”

Senator Markey said: “Experts agree that a spent fuel pool accident could have consequences that are every bit as bad as an accident at an operating reactor. In Massachusetts, Pilgrim nuclear plant’s spent fuel pool contains nearly four times more radioactive waste than it was originally designed to hold. Nuclear waste must be moved to safer storage now before the next nuclear disaster occurs.”

Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2014 (Boxer, Sanders, Markey)
The Safe and Secure Decommissioning Act of 2014 would prohibit the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from issuing exemptions from its emergency response or security requirements for spent fuel stored at nuclear reactors that have permanently shut down until all of the spent nuclear fuel stored at the site has been moved into dry casks, which are a more secure and safe option for storage. NRC has determined that earthquakes would be the most likely cause of a spent fuel pool failure that could result in a spontaneous fire, the release of large quantities of radiation, and widespread contamination, but has granted every request from emergency response requirements that it has ever received from a licensee of a decommissioning reactor.

Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act of 2014 (Sanders, Boxer, Markey)
The Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act of 2014 would ensure that states and local communities have a meaningful role in the crafting and preparation of decommissioning plans for retired nuclear plants located in those areas. The bill also requires NRC to publicly and transparently approve or reject every proposed decommissioning plan, which it currently is not required to do.

Dry Cask Storage Act of 2014 (Markey, Boxer, Sanders)
The Dry Cask Storage Act of 2014 would ensure that every nuclear reactor operator complies with an NRC-approved plan that would require the safe removal of spent nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pools and place that spent fuel into dry cask storage within 7 years of the time the plan is submitted to the NRC. The legislation also provides funding to help reactor licensees implement the plans and expands the emergency planning zone for non-compliant reactor operators to 50 miles.

For Immediate Release (Important please read) Contact: Mary Kerr or Kate Gilman: 202-224-8832
May 13, 2014 or kate_gilman@epw.senate.go
Michael Briggs (Sanders): 202-224-5141
Giselle Barry (Markey): 202-224-2742

U.S. Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works

Senators Boxer, Sanders and Markey Introduce Legislation to Increase Safety at Nuclear Plants
Three bills address safety of spent fuel storage and decommissioning plans

Aging Nuke Plants On Fault Lines In Tsunami Hazard Zones = Fukushimas… Any Questions?
PLEASE Turn off a light for Fukushima USA / San Onofre

Continue reading

Nuclear Facility Citizen Oversight Committee

San Onofre Nuclear Facility
Citizen Oversight Committee

ROSE is calling for a email campaign, or place a call to each of the NRC commissioners for Recognition in the oversight of the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear power plant. We must …

Continue reading

Pandora’s Promise is Fukushima USA

Stop the Nuclear Waste Con! 

The NRC Draft Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement is unacceptable. Much of it appears to be based on unsubstantiated hope.

WHAT: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Public Meeting to receive comments on the Draft Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement Report and Proposed Rule.

WHEN: MONDAY, November 18, 2013

5 p.m.  CDSO Press Conference
5 – 7 p.m.   Overpass Light Brigade — We need Volunteers to hold Lighted Letters!

6 – 7 p.m.   NRC Open House (Q&A with NRC Staff)

7 – 10 p.m.  NRC Public Comment Meeting

WHERE: Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad CA 92008

Background: As described by the NRC Chairman, Alison Macfarlane, in a recent speech, “in June 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the NRC’s 2010 Waste Confidence rule. In the court’s opinion, the Commission’s conclusion that a high-level waste repository would be available ‘when necessary’ lacked an appropriate discussion of the environmental consequences of failing to achieve that objective. The ruling also expressed concern about potential spent fuel pool leaks and fires. In the time since the court issued its decision … NRC staff has been working to revise the Waste Confidence rule and develop a generic environmental impact statement. From the beginning, the Commission made it clear that public involvement must be an essential part of this process. Starting last month, the NRC has been holding a series of public meetings around the country to get important input for our final products.” 1

The public meeting in Carlsbad on November 18, 2013, is one of 12 being held by the NRC around the country to take comment on the Draft ”Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement” Report,2 including a second California public meeting in San Luis Obispo on November 20th. See complete schedule at storage/wcd/pub-involve.html#schedule

Stop the Nuclear Waste Con: “The NRC Draft Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) is unacceptable. Much of it appears to be based on unsubstantiated hope and it ignores the unsolved problems of high burnup fuel. The NRC won’t approve short-term storage or transport of high burnup used nuclear fuel because they have no confidence it is safe,” states Donna Gilmore of The Waste Confidence GEIS needs to address:

√ HIGH BURNUP FUEL – Too hot to handle
No short-term storage or transportation solutions for high burnup fuel waste.3
• The NRC and DOE are concerned with the instability of high burnup nuclear waste in both storage and transport, yet the NRC continues approving this dangerous fuel for reactors.

> The NRC won’t approve high burnup dry cask storage over 20 years because they have NO CONFIDENCE it can be stored longer without releasing radiation into the environment, even though it must be stored for thousands of years.

The NRC won’t approve transportation4 of high burnup used fuel because they have NO CONFIDENCE it can be transported without releasing radiation into the environment.

San Onofre’s high burnup used fuel is so hot and radioactive, it requires up to a MINIMUM 20 YEARS cooling in the crowded spent fuel pools, instead of the minimum 5 years for lower burnup fuel.

√ Generic Environmental Impact Statement – NOT acceptable for California

California didn’t “sign up” for permanent (100+ years) nuclear waste dumps.

California nuclear waste sits in the world’s earthquake “ring of fire”, the same as

Fukushima, the most active and dangerous earthquake zone in the world. California’s nuclear waste is surrounded by known active earthquake faults and the USGS says no one has ever predicted a major earthquake.

California’s nuclear waste sits along an eroding coastline, in tsunami zones, and is exposed to a highly humid and corrosive coastal environment. NRC’s NUREG/CR-7030 states atmospheric corrosion of sea salt can lead to stress corrosion cracking within 32 and 128 weeks in austenitic [corrosion resistant] stainless steel canisters.5

It would be impossible to evacuate the millions of people living near California’s waste. Of the 34 million people in California, over 8.5 million reside within 50 miles of San Onofre.

A radiological disaster impacts the nation’s and world’s security, economy and food supply.

California is the eight ranking economy in the world, virtually tied with Italy and the Russian Federation, and larger than Canada, Australia and Spain.6

More than 40 percent of containerized imports enter the country through California ports, and nearly 30 percent of the country’s exports depart through them.7

California produces nearly half of the U.S. grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. California remained the number one state in cash farm receipts in 2011, with its $43.5 billion in revenue representing 11.6 percent of the U.S. total. U. S. consumers regularly purchase several crops produced solely in California.8

San Onofre is located adjacent to the primary vehicle transportation artery between Los Angeles and San Diego (I-5), and one of the largest military installations (and targets) on the West Coast (Camp Pendleton).

√ We oppose NRC’s proposed rule that future licensing can be based on the assumption spent fuel can be safely stored above ground virtually forever.

In the proposed NRC rule9 that accompanies the draft GEIS, the NRC proposes to incorporate into every reactor license the Draft GEIS’ conclusion that spent fuel can be safely stored above ground indefinitely.

This proposal would in effect forbid any further public discussion, in individual reactor licensing actions, of the serious question of whether generation of additional spent fuel is justifiable in light of the absence of any means of safe disposal.

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre includes Citizens Oversight, Inc., Peace Resource Center of San Diego, San Clemente Green,, and Women Occupy San Diego. For more information on nuclear waste, go to


3 Sources for high burnup information at


5 Atmospheric Stress Corrosion Cracking Susceptibility of Welded and Unwelded 304, 304L, and 316L Austenitic Stainless Steels Commonly Used for Dry Cask Storage Containers Exposed to Marine Environments (NUREG/CR-7030)

6, 7 Pacific Merchant Shipping Association 11/10/13
8 California Agricultural Statistics USDA October 31, 2012 9 page1image13844

Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) and Sierra Club Angeles Chapter


Media Contacts: Donna Gilmore, 949-204-7794 / Martha Sullivan, Women Occupy San Diego, 858-945-6273 / Glenn Pascall, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, 949-248-3183 / Gary Headrick, San Clemente Green, 949-218-4051

Aging Nuke Plants On Fault Lines In Tsunami Hazard Zones = Fukushimas… Any Questions?
PLEASE Turn off a light for Fukushima USA / San Onofre

Continue reading

Community Symposium on Decommissioning San Onofre (HD)

Decommissioning San Onofre and the Ongoing Dangers of Nuclear Waste — San Onofre, The Risks Live On… a community symposium held October 19, 2013 in San Clemente, California. Main speakers: Dr. Arjun Makhijani, Dr. Don Mosier and Dr. Marvin Resn…

Continue reading

The $742 Million Question:

The $742 Million Question

Who should pay for the extra Decommissioning money, not yet collected?

Since the operators of San Onofre made the financial decision to shut it down prematurely, all decommissioning fees not already collected for Units 2 and 3 by 01/31/12, should be paid by the operators of San Onofre, not ratepayers!

Also the California Public Utilities Commission should required SCE put the Decommissioning of San Onofre out for public bid, instead of just giving the mega billion dollar job to SCE. California ratepayers cannot afford a sole source bid when so many International Companies with nuclear expertise are looking for work.

A public bidding process will save California ratepayers huge amounts of money, money which should not end up in SCE’s shareholders pockets. This single project has the potential to jump start our economy, we cannot allow the CPUC to short circuit our states bidding process by not putting this job out for bid!

   Decommissioning Costs as of 1/1/2012
SONGS 1     $ Million
SONGS 2 $ Million
SONGS 3 $ Million
  Radiological Costs
            Site Restoration
  Fuel Storage (Including ISFSI Decommissioning)
  Estimated Total Budget 2009 (See Note 2)
      Total Collected 10/31/12  (See Note 1)
    Total Projection 1/1/2012
Estimated Loss Due To Poor RSG Design/Operation
           86.2   Previously   Overbilled
        441.4           Shortfall
        300.8              Shortfall

  1. SCE  Letter to NRC (2012)
  2. SCE Testimony to CPUC (2009)


The purpose of the Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Funds is to mitigate for ratepayers the high cost of decommissioning nuclear power plants at the end of their lives by collecting reasonable fees over a long period of time. The CPUC directs the investor owned utilities to collect a regular Decommissioning fee on customers’ monthly electric bills for Edison and SDG&E’s San Onofre Plant (30 years old) and PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Plant (28 years old). The expected life of a nuclear power plant is 40 years.

$5.2 billion of ratepayer collection is currently invested with the Trust Funds.

At current liquidation value, combined Decommissioning Trust Funds are ~90% funded. The Trust Funds are currently invested in equities (60%) and investment grade fixed income securities (40%). D.87-05-062 established nuclear decommissioning trusts for funding future decommissioning of the utilities’ nuclear units. Each nuclear plant has decommissioning trusts and a committee that oversees the trust fund; Under Public Utilities Code § 8326, SCE is required to provide a decommissioning cost estimate that includes, among other things,

an estimate of the costs of decommissioning, and

a description of changes in regulation, technology, and economics affecting the estimate of costs.

As SCE explains, and as TURN’s witness Lacy acknowledges, the costs to decommission a nuclear facility include the costs to

store the spent fuel onsite or offsite until it is removed by the DOE;

remove residual radioactivity from the site, including from the spent fuel storage facility, to levels required to terminate the NRC license and to release the site for unrestricted use; and

remove non-radiological structures, systems, and components as required to leave the site in a safe condition, or as otherwise mandated by the state or the site owner.

The Utilities project that they will perform the actual decommissioning in three phases.

During Phase I, the Utilities will decontaminate, dismantle, and dispose of the units and the site common facilities. The Utilities will also continue to maintain the integrity and safety of the spent fuel while it remains on the SONGS site. The Utilities will maintain spent fuel in wet storage in spent fuel pools until it can be safely transferred to the SONGS 2 & 3 Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) or removed from the site by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). To safely store fuel in wet storage, the Utilities must maintain each plant system required for spent fuel pool operation until the fuel is removed. The Utilities will drain, de-energize, and secure all other plant systems. After the SONGS 2 & 3 spent fuel pools are empty, the Utilities will decommission the pools and their associated support structures and systems. The Utilities assume that by the time the SONGS 2 & 3 fuel has cooled sufficiently to be removed from the spent fuel pools, the DOE will have removed enough SONGS 2 & 3 fuel from the SONGS site that it will not be necessary to further expand the ISFSI pads or to construct additional Advanced Horizontal Storage Modules (ASHM) to accommodate that fuel.

During Phase II, the Utilities will monitor the ISFSI until the DOE removes the last spent fuel from the site, which is assumed to occur by 2051 based on studies developed from the DOE Acceptance Priority Ranking & Annual Capacity Report (DOE/RW-0567), dated July 2004.

During Phase III, the Utilities will dismantle and dispose of the ISFSI, all remaining site common facilities, and the remaining structural foundations; terminate the NRC licenses; and complete the final site restoration work.

Note: The Utilities do not own the site upon which the SONGS facility is located. Instead, they are authorized to use the site under several lease contracts and grants of easement from the U.S. Department of the Navy and the California State Lands Commission. To terminate these agreements, the Utilities are required to remove all improvements they installed or constructed on the site, except as agreed by the lessors/grantors, return the site to a condition satisfactory to the grantor, and return the site to the lessors/grantors.

Aging Nuke Plants On Fault Lines In Tsunami Hazard Zones = Fukushimas… Any Questions?
PLEASE Turn off a light for Fukushima USA / San Onofre

Continue reading