Anti-nuke activists attack San Onofre

June 29, 2012

By Joseph Perkins

With San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station offline since January, Southern California Edison, the plant’s majority owner, launched an energy conservation campaign this week urging its customers to save power this summer.

San Onofre’s two reactors, out of service because of issues with recently installed steam generators, produces a combined a 2,200 megawatts, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of SoCal Ed’s total electricity production.

If residents of the estimated 1.4 million homes powered by San Onofre do not conserve as much electricity as SoCal Ed hopes, there is a very real prospects of brownouts, or even blackouts, this summer.

That’s because the next several months are expected to be “considerably warmer than average,” according to Tom Dunklee, a meteorologist with the California Independent System Operator, which oversees much of the state’s energy grid. That will put upward pressure on electricity demand.

Against that backdrop, the environmental group “Friends of the Earth” has launched a campaign of its own to permanently shutdown San Onofre’s two reactors, which, the anti-nuke activists claim, “pose a unique threat to eight million Californians living within 50 miles” of the plant.

Hearing demand

Two weeks ago, Friends of the Earth filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission demanding that SoCal Ed obtain a license amendment before San Onofre restarts its two reactors. The petition also seeks an “adjudicatory public hearing,” which would amount to a trial at which SoCal Ed would have to plead for San Onofre’s continued operation.

If, somehow, the environmental group succeeded in shutting down the nuclear plant, SoCal Ed would have to replace the electrons San Onofre generates. The anti-nuke activists suggest that would be no problem, as the utility, along with the San Onofre’s co-owners, San Diego Gas & Electric and the city ofRiverside, have made do the past five months with no disruption of service to their customers.

But that’s because SoCal Ed and its partners made certain contingency arrangements anticipating San Onofre’s temporary shutdown, obtaining replacement electricity from other sources. But they cannot easily replace the nuclear plant’s 2,200 megawatts over an extended period of time.

Friends of the Earth’s suggestion is that the nuclear-generated electricity be replaced by electricity generated by renewable energy. But even if SoCal Ed  wanted to do so – and the utility does, in fact, invest in solar, wind and hydro power – it simply could not make up San Onofre’s output anytime soon.

Indeed, SoCal Ed estimates it would take 64,000 acres of solar panels to replace the electricity San Onofre generates on its 84-acre site inSan Clemente. Or it would take 59,000 acres of wind turbines.

Given the opposition environmental groups have to even modest-sized solar and wind projects here in the Golden State, not to mention hydro projects, it is unrealistic to expect those renewable energy sources to replace nuclear power.

That may explain why 71 percent of those located in SoCal Ed’s service territory support nuclear power. They recognize that it remains an essential contributor to the state’s energy mix.


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  1. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 29 June, 2012, 09:50

    SONGS is a 30 year old mess with a history of unlawful discharges, leaks and safety violations. Google it if you don’t remember. 30 years of old waste is stored on site. No longitudinal study exists re the seemingly high cancer rate around the dangerous plant. The grid barely notices its shut down. The risk is way too great. When the NSF study comes out proving the higher cancer rate as it did in France and Germany for hese plants, real estate in south OC will hit the bottom. THEN—- the chamber of commerce Republiteabaggers will launch the hue and cry. Sad.

    Reply this comment
  2. Tom Becker
    Tom Becker 29 June, 2012, 10:44

    Your disgusting with you vile characterizations. Please go away.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 29 June, 2012, 10:52

    What’s more vile? A group of people (the right) blindly supporting a dangerous power plant that endangers thousands or someone who says “chamber of commerce republiteabaggers”?

    See, to me, this isn’t a close call. The European published, peer reviewed studies all found increased pediatric cancer rates within 3-5 miles of the exact same type/vintage nuke plants in France and Germany.

    Don’t ya think that guys like me need to ratchet up the rhetoric a bit to get the leaky old outdated nuke shut off for good?



    Reply this comment
  4. Burrito Bro
    Burrito Bro 29 June, 2012, 11:03

    Whoa! Lots of Bro’s head that way, and no mas to lighting them like porch lights.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 29 June, 2012, 12:36

    Please ban the troughie, thank you-the readership.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 29 June, 2012, 16:23

    Hey Poodle– I know it’s frustrating for ya to have to deal with me— relax little buddy ! It’s a BIG ol tent !!

    …and—- mmmmmm—— the Supreme Court…..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 29 June, 2012, 21:43

    If the Teddy Steal sock puppets don’t get 86’d I am out of here……………

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 29 June, 2012, 21:48

    It’s a BIG ol tent !!

    Teddy, the “tent” is for people who post under one handle, not under 100 like you always have……………… you’re not fooling anyone here with your gimmick accounts, just like you didn’t fool anyone at the OCR….oh, and don’t forget you got all bent out of shape when I repeatedly busted your sock puppets, to the point you tried to claim you had a “friend” working at the OCR and he KNEW I was an OCR employee reviewing the IP logs………….

    Reply this comment
  9. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 29 June, 2012, 22:21

    Poodle boy— is there oxygen in your world?

    Reply this comment
  10. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 30 June, 2012, 06:41

    Wonder Dog left the building.

    Reply this comment
  11. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 30 June, 2012, 09:23

    LOL— he’ll be back Mr. PacknShip ! Or are you me? Hmmmmm—–the sound of one hand clapping? Trees fall in the forest???

    Reply this comment
  12. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 30 June, 2012, 11:30

    When in doubt Teddy always remember Wonder Dog…what he thought…go left.

    By the way…been wondering….was is a SOCK PUPPET?

    He was spazzed by socks…poor dog!

    Reply this comment
  13. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 30 June, 2012, 16:39

    It’s true Senor Pack and Ship— socks scare the tiny fem.mutt!

    Reply this comment
  14. PJ
    PJ 2 July, 2012, 09:48

    Mary Nicols will never let the plant go on line again. It would be totally against her “religion.”

    As for the stats on so-called dangers, what about the thousands of people who will die in the next heat wave without air conditioning? Is that just “breaking a few eggs” to make your omelet?

    Reply this comment
  15. JLSeagull
    JLSeagull 2 July, 2012, 17:50

    The whole bunch of you, Ted, Rex, Ulysses, all remind me of a bunch of twelve year olds trying to see who can piss higher up the wall. You don’t contribute anything useful to the discussion just a lot of piss running down the drain. Why don’t you all grow up.

    Replace the San Onofre reactors with Liquid Floride Thorium Reactors.

    Reply this comment
  16. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 July, 2012, 22:49

    Thanks JL 😉

    Reply this comment
  17. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 2 July, 2012, 23:25


    Reply this comment
  18. cristie paris
    cristie paris 2 July, 2012, 23:42

    Decommission it now.. This article is total false. 12% is the total electricity that used to come from San Onofre and we have done without just fine without it.There is no known safe way to store nuclear waste. Its actually more dire than people think.

    Reply this comment
  19. nowsane
    nowsane 3 July, 2012, 09:01

    JLSeagull certainly has a point regarding the tone of the discussion on this site subject, but I believe that another type of nuclear technology should be considered, and that is discussed in this web address:

    It’s good that we can start discussing the real issues regarding nuclear technology, not these phony concerns. Unfortunately, many of the very folks who want to shut these reactor down, are the ones who would violently argue against any new forms of nuclear technology, no matter how safe. They continue to believe that alternative energy can provide the entire state’s or nation’s requirements, even though these forms of energy require currently nonexistent backup storage batteries or such or fossil fuel plants to provide the baseload they can’t provide.

    Reply this comment
  20. Burkey
    Burkey 3 July, 2012, 17:12

    “Safe nuclear” is an oxymoron.

    We got told how safe nuclear was before the accidents as well. The problem is that in the real world, people mess things up, and cut safety corners for profit’s sake. This happens over and over again and it happened at Fukushima and it is happening at San O.

    “There’s no difference between theory and practice, in theory.
    In practice, there is a difference.”
    -Yogi Berra

    Reply this comment

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