California: 1st Nation tribes not included in San Onofre nuclear waste consultation (VIDEO)

From the Ecological Options Network

Why No Tribal Voices on San Onofre Waste?

Published on May 28, 2017

When SONGS Community Engagement Panel Secretary Dan Stetson asked about Native American involvement in the process of dealing with San Onofre’s 3 tons of nuclear waste, Edison’s Tom Palmisano assured the Panel that tribal governments had been consulted as part of normal procedure. Apparently he was misinformed.

Tribal spokeswoman Angela Mooney-D’Arcy, Acjachemen tribe member and Executive Director of the Sacred Places Institute. denied that regional tribal governments had been consulted, and she had documents to prove it.

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— California: San Onofre action alert on upcoming Coastal Commission meeting

From Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE)
April 29, 2017

ACTION ALERT: Your voice is needed
.

The Coastal Commission is meeting for 3 days in San Diego May 10th, 11th and 12th. Please attend and request Southern California Edison (SCE) not be allowed to destroy the spent fuel pools. SCE will be submitting a request to destroy the spent fuel pools once they are empty.

San Onofre is not on the agenda. However, the Commission allows 3 minute public comments on items not on the agenda. Public Comments for non-agenda items start at the beginning of the meeting each day.

The pools are the only NRC approved method to replace cracking and leaking canisters. Canisters with even partial cracks are not approved for transport per NRC Safety regulations, and there is no method in place to repair them.

Existing San Onofre canisters have been in use as early as 2003. According to the NRC, the Koeberg nuclear plant in South Africa had a comparable container leak in only 17 years.

No one knows how many cracks are in the existing San Onofre canisters or how deep the cracks are. Once a crack starts, it will continue to grow through the wall of the canister.

Also, there is no seismic rating for partially cracked canisters or for the vented concrete structure they are stored in.

Since canisters cannot be inspected for cracks, we will only know after they leak, so pools must remain and be maintained until all nuclear fuel waste is removed from San Onofre. The Commissioners should not approve destruction of the pools until nuclear fuel waste is removed from the site.

Southern California Edison has been stating leaking canisters will be put inside another container, such as a metal transport or transfer cask. However, no such container has been approved by the NRC and leaking canisters cannot be transported. And the nuclear fuel waste in the canisters could overheat if stored in sealed metal casks. (Currently, canisters are stored inside concrete overpacks that have air vents so the nuclear fuel waste doesn’t overheat.)

Meeting details:

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chambers
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92101
(415) 407-3211
[The phone number will only be in service during the meeting.]
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Thursday, May 11, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Friday, May 12, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Meeting Agenda and rules for public comment. https://www.coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/

California Coastal Commission ]https://www.coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/

 

Sincerely,

Gene Stone
Residents Organized For a Safe Environment (ROSE)
http://residentsorganizedforasafeenvironment.wordpress.com/ http://residentsorganizedforasafeenvironment.wordpress.com/ http://partofthearth.blogspot.com/
http://partofthearth.blogspot.com/
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

Consumer group builds searchable CPUC email database

From San Diego Tribune:

By Jeff McDonald | 4:52 p.m. May 23, 2016

The Santa Monica consumer group that prompted an investigation into Gov. Jerry Brown’s top aide’s contacts with regulated utilities earlier this year has built a searchable public database of thousands of internal emails to and from her former employer, Pacific Gas & Electric, and others.

The emails, released under the California Public Records Act and as part of the utility’s response to the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, were posted by Consumer Watchdog on a new website called PUCPapers.org.

The California Public Utilities Commission has been under criminal investigation since 2014 for its handling of the San Bruno explosion as well as the premature closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2012.

“The documents have already uncovered cozy dealings between regulated utilities and the government that go far beyond former PUC President Michael Peevey and one disgraced PG&E executive, to extend throughout the PUC, the Governor’s Office and other government agencies,” said Jamie Court, the Consumer Watchdog president.

“This is the political equivalent of the citizen science project,” he added. “What we’re hoping to do is give citizen activists the opportunity to explore and chart new constellations of corruption.”

In total, the database contains more than 130,000 emails and other documents exchanged between state regulators and utility executives, largely related to the San Bruno explosion, the San Onofre closure and the approval last year of the Carlsbad Energy Center power plant.

Much of the material previously was posted on the commission’s website in 2014 and 2015 or released to consumer groups under the public records law. But officials did not make the database searchable.

Earlier this year, Consumer Watchdog uncovered emails that reference former PG&E executive Nancy McFadden’s exchanges with Peevey and former utility colleagues, who appeared to have been discussing ways to get more utility-friendly people appointed to the commission.

McFadden, who resigned from PG&E in 2010 to become Brown’s executive secretary, became the subject of a Fair Political Practices Commission investigation in March after failing to disclose stock transfers and holdings regarding PG&E. She amended her disclosures but the case remains ongoing. According to PUCPapers.org, McFadden’s name came up at least 1,300 times in emails and other records, reflecting both her time at PG&E and her work as top aide to Gov. Brown.

jeff.mcdonald@sduniontribune.com

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/may/23/consumer-group-builds-puc-email-database/

— Former Prime Minister Koizumi backs U.S. sailors suing over Fukushima radiation

From Japan Times

May 19, 2016

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has thrown his support behind a group of former U.S. sailors suing the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. The sailors claim health problems they now suffer were caused by exposure to radiation after a triple meltdown at the plant following an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday in Carlsbad, California, with some of the plaintiffs, Koizumi said, “Those who gave their all to assist Japan are now suffering from serious illness. I can’t overlook them.”

The lawsuit was lodged in 2012 against plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., which was last month renamed Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

The plaintiffs include crew members of the U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which provided humanitarian relief along the tsunami-battered coastline in a mission dubbed Operation Tomodachi.

Koizumi spent Sunday through Tuesday meeting 10 of the plaintiffs, asking about the nature of the disaster relief they undertook and about their symptoms.

“I learned that the number of sick people is still increasing, and their symptoms are worsening,” he told the news conference.

Koizumi called on those in Japan, both for and against nuclear power, to come together to think of ways to help the ailing U.S. servicemen.

The group of about 400 former U.S. Navy sailors and Marines alleges the utility did not provide accurate information about the dangers of radioactive material being emitted from the disaster-struck plant.

This led the U.S. military to judge the area as being safe to operate in, resulting in the radiation exposure, the group claims.

One of the plaintiffs at the news conference, Daniel Hair, said Koizumi’s involvement made him feel for the first time that Japan is paying serious attention to their plight.

According to lawyers for the group, seven of its members have died so far, including some from leukemia.

Koizumi, who served as prime minister between 2001 and 2006, came out in opposition to nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 disaster. He has repeatedly urged the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to halt its efforts to restart dormant reactors across Japan.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/19/national/former-prime-minister-koizumi-backs-u-s-sailors-suing-over-fukushima-radiation/#.Vz91PfkrJMy

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

US-Ukraine “partnership” threatens new Chernobyl-style disaster

The company Holtec mentioned here is the company making the San Onofre nuclear waste storage system that the California Coastal Commission approved in 2015 to be installed at the ocean adjacent to millions of people in Southern California. The canisters are not inspectable and may be prone to cracking.

But what could go wrong?

From Fort Russ

April 27, 2015 –
Leonid Savin, Katehon

April 26, 2016 will mark the 30th anniversary of the catastrophic explosion of the 4th reactor at the Chernobyl power plant, the effects of which are felt to this very day. This comes at a time when alarming news has arrived which evokes concern over the future of Ukraine’s nuclear industry.
The problems started  along with the “Maidan” coup backed by the US and EU, because Washington immediately started to lobby for a large deal in its own interests, including nuclear industry projects.
The Ukrainian state enterprise Energoatom and the Westinghouse Company (US), agreed in 2014 to extend the contract to supply Ukrainian nuclear power plants with US nuclear fuel, until 2020.
But the use of US produced fuel for Soviet reactors is not compatible with their design, and violates security requirements, and could lead to disasters comparable with what happened in Chernobyl. The International Union of Veterans of Nuclear Energy and Industry (IUVNEI) issued the following statement on April 25th, that “Nuclear fuel produced by the US firm Westinghouse does not meet the technical requirements of Soviet-era reactors, and using it could cause an accident on the scale of the Chernobyl disaster, which took place on the 26th April 1986.” The IUVNEI brings together more than 15,000 nuclear industry veterans from Armenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine. It was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Moscow.

Four years ago, there was a near-miss in the Ukraine, when a TVS-W unit with damaged distancing armatures, nearly experienced a significant uncontrolled release of dangerous radiation. Only by a miracle was there no disaster at the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant. But it did not prevent the signing of the agreement. A Czech nuclear power plant experienced a depressurization of fuel elements produced by Westinghouse several years ago, followed by the Czech government’s abandoning the company as a fuel supplier. According to Yuri Nedashkovsky, the president of the country’s state-owned nuclear utility Energoatom, on April 23th, 2014 Ukraine’s interim government ordered an allocation of 45.2 hectares of land for the construction of a nuclear waste storage site within the depopulated exclusion area around the plant of Chernobyl, between the villages of Staraya Krasnitsa, Buryakovka, Chistogalovka and Stechanka in the Kiev Region (the Central Spent Fuel Storage Project for Ukraine’s VVER reactors). The fuel is to come from Khmelnitsky, Rovno and South Ukraine nuclear power plants.
At present, used fuel is mostly transported to a new dry-storage facility at the Zheleznogorsk Mining and Chemical Factory in the Krasnoyarsk region, and storage and reprocessing plant Mayak in the Chelyabinsk region; the both facilities are situated in the Russian Federation.
In 2003, Ukraine started to look for alternatives to the Russian storage units. In December 2005, Energoatom signed a 127.8 million euro agreement with the US-based Holtec International to implement the Central Spent Fuel Storage Project for Ukraine’s VVER reactors. Holtec’s work involved design, licensing, construction, commissioning of the facility, and the supply of transport and vertical ventilated dry storage systems for used VVER nuclear fuel. By the end of 2011 Holtec International had to close its office in Kiev as it had come under harsh criticism worldwide. It is widely believed that the company has lost licenses in some countries because of the poor quality of its containers resulting in radiation leaks.  Westinghouse and Holtec are members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC). Morgan Williams, President/CEO of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, has worked in Ukraine since the 1990’s.
“Today is one of the most important days since Ukraine’s independence as the efforts of these two internationally known companies will go a long way to assuring that Ukraine has greater energy independence,” he said at the ceremony devoted to  Westinghouse Electric Company and Holtec International signing contracts with Ukraine. The President of USUBC added, “This is made more important by the fact that for Ukraine, energy and political independence are closely interdependent. I join all of the USUBC members in toasting the success of these two great member companies, as we all work to assist Ukraine on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration and a strong democratic, private market driven nationhood.”
Morgan Williams is known as a lobbyist representing the interests of Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil in Ukraine. He has direct links with Freedom House which is involved in staging “color revolutions” in Eurasia, North Africa and Latin America.
One more interesting fact to be mentioned here. In Spring 2014 it was reported that according to covert agreements reached between Ukraine’s interim government and its European partners, the nuclear waste coming from EU member states would be stored in Ukraine.  Being in violation of the law, the deal is kept secret. Some high standing officials in Kiev were remunerated. It is said that Alexander Musychko (Sashko Biliy), a prominent nationalist from Rovno, tried to blackmail the Kiev rulers threatening to make the conspiracy public. That’s why he was killed, on the orders of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov.
US is the main manager of the self-isolation of the Ukrainian regime from Russia, which has greatly impacted cooperation between two countries, as well as in the area of nuclear security. The administration of the Chernobyl nuclear plant has stated clearly that the process is going in wrong way.

Dead whales washing up in Southern California

Two dead whales and “it was Mother Nature taking its course.” Really? Just like all the dead marine mammals washing up along the coast?

And there will be a lot more than dead whales when those nuclear waste containers crack open that are being buried on the beach at San Onofre.

From Orange County Register

Dead whale washed up at popular surf spot

by Laylan Connelly

April 24, 2016

A dead whale washed up Sunday on the cobblestone beach at Lower Trestles, a popular surf spot just south of San Clemente.

Todd Mansur, a boat captain for Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, said he has seen two dead whales off Orange County’s shoreline in recent days.

He said he saw the one that washed up at Trestles as it neared the water line, and the other one is expected to wash up at San Clemente State Beach in the next few days.

Both whales were estimated to be larger than 40 feet.

Mansur said that from what he saw, it was Mother Nature taking its course.

“It looked like nature. There were no marks from ships, no propeller marks, no abrasions, no entanglements,” he said.

Mansur was heading a whale watching charter and asked passengers how they felt about stopping to see the carcass.

“They were actually interested, kind of scientifically, about it. I really wanted to check it out to see if there was a reason of death,” he said.

He inspected it for about 15 minutes.

“It didn’t even look like it was a day dead,” he said.

Mansur said he has seen great white sharks eating whale carcasses.

And with the number of great whites sticking around Orange County’s coastline because of the warm El Niño waters, it might be a good idea for surfers to stay clear of the area for a while, he said.

The presence of other predators rises when dead animals are near, he said.

“You should always be worried when an animal of that magnitude is on the coastline,” Mansur said. “That element of the unknown can be there.”

Surfers were taking to social media to warn others about the whale. State lifeguards were not available to comment, so it was unclear what would be done with the whale carcass.

Contact the writer: lconnelly@ocregister.com

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/whale-713433-dead-carcass.html

– California Coastal Commission approves nuclear waste storage on the beach

This photo from San Onofre Safety shows where Southern California Edison wants to store nuclear waste. It’s circled in yellow.

Location of Holtec system. SCE

The company making the canisters has already been in trouble.

By the end of 2011 Holtec International had to close its office in Kiev as it had come under harsh criticism worldwide. It is widely believed that the company has lost licenses in some countries because of the poor quality of its containers resulting in radiation leaksWestinghouse and Holtec are members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).
http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/04/us-ukraine-partnership-threatens-new.html

What could go wrong????? This is only located adjacent to millions of Californians and on the ocean.

From San Onofre Safety

Southern California Edison plans to make another bad decision by unsafely storing over 1600 metric tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

Below is the proposed location for the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX thin “underground” spent fuel canister system at San Onofre. Half under ground, and close to the water table and about 100 feet from the ocean. Edison admits the Sea Wall hasn’t been maintained so can’t be counted on for protection. This plan doesn’t meet Coastal Act requirements, but Coastal Commission staff think there are no other options, but there are.

Holtec Side View

 Request Coastal Commission REVOKE Nuclear Storage Permit (handout)

Excerpt:

Request Coastal Commission REVOKE Nuclear Storage Permit

The California Coastal Commission granted a Coastal permit for the San Onofre Holtec nuclear waste storage facility with “Special Conditions” that are unlikely or impossible to meet.

Special Conditions require a storage system that can be inspected, repaired, maintained, monitored, and transported without cracks but only after 20 years. The Coastal Commission recognizes the Holtec system does not currently meet these requirements, but have been convinced by Edison and others there are no other reasonable options and someday these problems will all be solved. However, there is insufficient evidence to support that and evidence to the contrary.

Reasons to revoke SoCal Edison Coastal Development Permit #9-15-0228

Coastal requirements for nuclear waste storage should be met now, not deferred 20 years.

The Coastal Commission may not have the jurisdiction to choose casks, but can require their special conditions be met now. Thin (1/2” to 5/8” thick) stainless steel canisters can crack, cannot be inspected,

repaired, maintained or adequately monitored. Cracked canisters cannot be transported. The Coastal Commission should require a system that does not have these flaws and not accept promises of future solutions.

Edison can meet Coastal requirements with thick casks. For example, Areva sells thick (over 10” thick) metal casks to the U.S. market, and to most of the rest of the world for storage and transport.

The Areva TN‐32 and TN‐40 are licensed by the NRC. The TN‐24 used at Fukushima survived the massive earthquake and tsunami. Spent fuel must cool in the pools for a few years, so choosing proven thick storage casks will not significantly delay removing fuel from pools.

Canisters cannot be repaired. Holtec President says these canisters cannot be repaired.

Partially cracked canisters cannot be transported. NRC Regulation 10 CFR § 71.85.

Canisters may crack. The NRC states it takes about 16 years for a crack to go through the wall of thin stainless steel canisters and canisters are vulnerable to cracking from marine environments.

A similar component at the Koeberg nuclear plant failed in 17 years with numerous cracks. A Diablo Canyon canister has all the conditions for cracking in a 2‐year old canister.

No funds are available to relocate this system. Once the system is installed, there are no funds to rebuild and move it to a different site, so it is not reasonable to expect it will be relocated (even onsite).

Edison’s $1.3 billion Spent Fuel Management Plan to the California Public Utilities Commission assumes nothing will go wrong and they will not need to pay to move the fuel on‐site or elsewhere.

Edison’ plan assumes the Dept. of Energy will start picking up the fuel in 2024, which Edison admitted to the CPUC is unlikely.

Vaporware is not a solution. The Coastal Commission should not base decisions on “vaporware” – promises of solutions that do not exist with no guarantee they will exist in the future. Even State of California procurement rules do not allow procurement of “vaporware”.

Edison plans to destroy the spent fuel pools. Pools are the only method to replace canisters.

The Commission should add a special condition to not destroy pools unless a better plan is in place.

Existing 51 thin canisters may have cracks. Fuel loading into thin canisters began in 2003, so “special

conditions” for aging management and related issues should be addressed now.

Act now: Email Joseph.Street@coastal.ca.gov More info & references at SanOnofreSafety.org

https://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/revokecoastalpermit2015-11-5.pdf