Senator Boxer: Addressing Safety Issues at San Onofre
Monday, September 17, 2012
Last week, as Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I held a hearing to ensure that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is implementing its safety recommendations for the 104 nuclear reactors in the United States. These important recommendations are based on an expert review of the lessons learned following the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. At the hearing, I emphasized the importance of implementing all of the safety recommendations as soon as possible. To read my opening statement, please click here.
I also pressed the NRC Commissioners who testified at the hearing on the need to ensure that the NRC identifies the reasons for the safety problems that resulted in the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s shutdown. The Commissioners committed to me that they would not allow either reactor at the San Onofre plant to be restarted until and unless it was safe to do so. I will continue to conduct oversight on this important issue at San Onofre as the NRC’s investigation on nuclear safety continues.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Your Voice Counts: Californians Respond to This Message +
As a resident less than 20 miles away from San Onofre, thank you for staying on top of this serious environmental issue. I know I can count on you to learn from other people/countries and make sure that we keep all residents near nuclear reactors safe. Please continue to make sure that whoever would benefit financially from the reactors being active again, do NOT pull political shenanigans in order to do so and put millions of southern californians in harms way.
Karen, Lake Forest
Thanks for keeping an eye on the safety of San Onofre power plant. We live about 10 miles from that plant and we don't want to lose our home and great place to live forever just because the power plant owners want to make money and minimize losses!
Thank you for the update on the hearings for re-opening the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. I believe given what we know now, after the Fukushima disaster, there is no way San Onofre should ever be opened again! Not only is it near a fault line, but the reactors are badly built and have had numerous shutdowns and problems. We need to concentrate on alternative forms of energy from now into the future. We have nothing but sun and wind here in California and should be steering our resources to those forms of energy starting immediately.
Gerry, Laguna Woods
Thank you for attempting to protect us from the danger of nuclear energy. We don't need San Onofre in operation, especially in light of the devastating after affects of Fukishima.
I have voted for the Senator over the past 18 years and have visited her in her office in Washington D.C., however, I respectfully request you are extremely careful and well advised to the true condition of San Onofre. As an employee of San Onofre and resident of South Orange County, I too am concerned about the future operability of San Onofre. Yet, its important the media and bureaucrats (including elected officials) speak from a position of knowledge, not political enhancement or emotion when addressing the serious concerns surrounding San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. It remains imperative that the political whims are not what determines San Onofre's operability fate, but rather can San Onofre provide unconditional safe operation generating electricity into the State's starved electrical grid and at a cost that's fair to the customer's of Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric and the City of Riverside. Anything less and San Onofre will face the proverbial wrecking ball staring straight into its massive containment domes.
Jeff, Mission Viejo
Thank you for your stewardship of nuclear reactors. Yes, I am against nuclear power and hoping that we will soon regain our senses and decommission all those filthy reactors. Meanwhile, thanks for trying to keep them safe as they are phased out. It is about time we gave our environment the respect it deserves for supporting our lives.
I appreciate your supervision and constant work on safety regarding SONGS. as a resident of Oceanside and in the critical radius of SONGS, I ask you to do everything in your power to make sure that SONGS will stay shut down permanently and that radioactive waste is safely and properly stored. Our lives, our children and grandchildren, and our environment cannot survive a potential accident. I also urge you to keep working on expanding and investing in clean, renewable, green, safe energy in California and in the rest of the USA.
Please do what you can to be SUPPORTIVE of the restarting of the nuclear power facility. We need the power in S. Orange County. Perhaps Government can help citizens by helping these utility companies provide the power we need, and not simply assume that they are operating the plants in an unsafe manner. My father was a Nuclear engineer, involved with the development of a powerplant for a nuclear aircraft in the 1960s and his understanding of government officials is that they know very little about what they are doing when it comes to technology, and a Nuclear power plant is indeed very high technology. Please assist them and all of us with your support to get this facility back on the grid.
Jeffrey, Laguna Niguel
You are way off base. You need to do all you can to help us switch to 100% nuclear power. Probably doesn't matter to you personally but your grandkids will thank you for the clean nuclear power you can help provide. Get informed. Go to www.thesciencecouncil.com Find out what is REALLY going on.
Thank you so much for writing me about San Onofre and the safety concerns at the other 104 reactors across the US. I'm numbering these points because there are 3 very important issues relating to SONGS that I am sure you are concerned with: 1) SONGS must be closed for safety reasons - I have studied the reasons for the leak and know that SoCal Edison misled the NRC about the breadth of change that happened with the new steam generators in order to avoid a full investigation of the safety of the plant. Now SoCal Edison is pointing fingers everywhere - at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, at the computer programmers, everywhere but itself. Regardless of whose fault it was, the reactor is not safe to restart. This is not to mention our vulnerability in case of earthquake, tsunami, etc!) 2) and the $470 million the rate payers spent on the steam generators is gone. We ratepayers are even paying SoCal Edison 54 million per month NOW for SONGS - when it is out of order!!!!! So SONGS does make sense fiscally. 3) The biggest surprise of late to me was that Michael Peevey is both head of the CPUC and the ex-director of So Cal Edison. This man needs to recuse himself from his position at the CPUC for the glaring conflict of interest. He has a vested interest in getting the reactor up and running and is not acting with the interests of Californians at heart. Imagine all of the renewable energy we could create with the money being wasted to protect the shareholders of So Cal Edison. Thank you for reading this and for taking the closing of SONGS seriously.
We have gotten along fine w/o this power plant. The people in Japan were told that their power plant was safe too and look what happened to them! We live in an earthquake prone area here that is way overdue for a big one! (just like them) We have NO business having this plant on the coastline where a tsunami could hit also. This is a disaster waiting to happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't let them reopen it please.
Kay, Spring Valley
Thanks for your participation in this highly important safety issue for the entire USA. I'm convinced that the Nuclear energy production in the country is FAR, FAR too dangerous to continue any longer. The facts bear this out EVERY time I research this issue. Would you please begin and implementation to closing down every single one of these horrendously dangerous reactors before we have a catastrophic event in OUR country? Please begin with the deactivation of San Onofre Nuclear Plant.
William, Manhattan Beach
Thank you so much for "having our backs" down here in South Orange County! It's certainly comforting to know that our safety (regarding the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant) is a priority for you!
Gail, Dana Point
I have absolutely no fear of San Onofre. The decisions made there are always first and foremost, "Public Safety". They are dealing with problems brought about by an interest in more power. The issues will be corrected without public or political concerns.
I appreciate your interest about ongoing topics at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). As a member of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), Local 246, and NRC licensed Senior Reactor Operator who works at SONGS, I have a clear interest in maintaining the high standards required of workers in the nuclear industry. I also want to assure you that despite recent technical concerns related to the recently replaced steam generators, my fellow SONGS workers are equally interested in maintaining those standards. The workers at SONGS, union and non-represented, want to return to being Southern California’s single largest source of greenhouse gas free, affordable and safe electricity. Should you have any doubts or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the unions that represent many of the workers at SONGS. In addition to the UWUA, other unions include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Carpenters Union and the Laborers International Union.
William, Laguna Niguel
Reading the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a very reputable and non-partisan research group, our nuclear reactors are not well maintained and significant problems have not been addressed as apparently the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sees itself as serving the needs of their users rather than the health and safety of our nation as a whole. If there was ever a concern for domestic terrorism, access to spent rods are yet another huge concern that would dwarf the bombings by fertilizer. And of course, we have only to look at Japan despite their advance technologies to see the irreparable damage that can be caused by one accident. Please do not let the commission continue that way that they have. My fear is that the Commission will politely nod their heads and continue as they have for many years now. Please, do not let this happen on your watch and under your leadership.
Michael, Santa Rosa
Thank you so much for representing the people's interests by holding the NRC accountable. Nuclear energy is neither clean, sustainable nor even supportable without taxpayer subsidies. We need to move as quickly away from it as possible by developing sustainable sources and shutting these hazardous plants down. Again, thank you for focusing on this issue, I live in Lakewood, Ca, very close to it. I don't want to be another nuclear victim!
Please stop stalling the process. Get San Onofre working again. Sure have the necessary safeguards in place... but it is time to get it operating again.
D., Aliso Viejo
Thank you for your actions regarding safety at the San Onofre Nuclear Plant. I feel well represented by you regarding this matter.
Thank you for following through on protection and safety concerns regarding our nuclear power sites in the US. It's good to know someone in our government is doing this.
Jan and Bob, Hayfork
Thank you for taking a personal concern into the safety of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. I appreciate your oversight. We must have confidence that all has been done to ensure the safety of the unit(s) before it is activated again.
Nona, San Clemente
The sooner the plant can once again began providing us with clean, reliable, US made energy, the better for all of us. God knows we need it here in California-one of the most expensive states to live in.
Thank you for your email about holding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the highest possible safety standards for the health of our communities. With toxic waste that lasts longer than any recorded civilization (20,000+ years), I cannot imagine why humans do this. When factoring in the cost for babysitting radioactive waste in perpetuity and the incalculable cost of a major accident, it cannot be touted as the low cost energy that justified its initial investment. Now, it's a matter of how do we limit that damage.
We in our Oxnard, CA community appreciate your Senate actions protecting CA and our Nation from dangerous Nuclear impacts. The City of Oxnard is in close proxmity of the San Onofre Nuclear Plant - it is a constant concern to us. The solution is to invest more in Renewables Solar, Wind etc. I know you are supporting these measures and appreciate you doing that.
Thank you for keeping your constituents up to date on the status of San Onofre (SONGS). I hope you will take this moment to listen to your constituents...My Orange County CA neighbors and I all feel the same way... keep San Onofre SHUT DOWN. The risk to our families and property do NOT outweigh the benefits of keeping it operational....as demonstrated by the fact that we all just "survived" the last eight weeks of the 4th hottest August in recorded history, with minimal to NO IMPACT to our power supply. We don't have to have San Onofre to survive. There were FLEX ALERTS and it was reported on the news that EVERYONE COOPERATED and turned appliances off when it was needed. That I am aware of, we in Rancho Santa Margarita didn't see any unplanned or widespread blackouts. This tells my neighbors and I that we can certainly get along WITHOUT SONGS, and we would vote to do so! If we don't learn from Fukishima, then we are truly fools. SONGS is just too close to the San Andreas fault, which the USGS tells us will go in a big way at some point... it's not a matter of if, but when.
MaryAnne, Rancho Santa Margarita
We appreciate the safety concerns, but we also hope that you will make every effort to change our policies to encourage the development of more nuclear plants being built on our soil which will help us become more energy dependent. More nuclear energy plants will create more jobs and will improve our economy. While we need to develop all our sources of energy, nuclear energy is the cleanest, safest form of energy.
As a person who has studied chemistry for two years I have knowledge of the dangers of nuclear energy. We should learn from japans experience is and act on more secure nuclear plants.