Fox San Diego: Unprecedented? California nuke plant forbidden from reopening — “We’ve really never seen the Feds take such a drastic step” — Locals stunned, alarmed (VIDEO)

Published: April 2nd, 2012 at 10:14 am ET


Title: For O.C. cities near San Onofre nuclear plant, fear is growing
Source: Los Angeles Times
Author: Rick Rojas
Date: Mar 30, 2012

[…] Some city officials are now calling for the decommissioning of the San Onofre site […]

“The plant should be shut down, period,” said Verna Rollinger, mayor pro tem in Laguna Beach. “I have never supported it, and I wish nuclear energy was safe because it’s a relatively clean energy source, but it’s also so dangerous that I don’t think we should be counting on that for our future energy needs.”

She added: “I think people are concerned, and for good reason.”

The mayor of San Clemente, Lori Donchak, wrote to federal officials asking that they demand a permanent disposal place for spent nuclear fuel, and others have asked that they consider expanding the evacuation zone beyond the current 10-mile radius. […]

Read the report here

NRC forbids San Onofre from reopening -Fox 5 San Diego:

h/t r3VOLt23

Transcript Excerpts

ANCHOR: Major developments tonight about the San Onofre nuclear power plant […] A federal agency said the plant cannot restart two of its reactors until further notice […]

REPORTER: This letter from fed regulators is extremely rare, if not completely unprecedented for the San Onofre power plant.

We spoke to locals out here, and they are deeply concerned with this latest development. […]

Locals in the area are stunned.

RESIDENT 1: “… if the feds are coming in and shutting it down that’s alarming itself.”

RESIDENT 2: “What is the loss anyway? If we haven’t been using it for months, what are we losing?”

REPORTER: [… statement from plant operator] “We welcome the NRC’s letter, which is a formal step in restarting units 2 and 3.”

We’ve really never seen the feds take such a drastic step, they’re apparently not liking what they see in the process. […]

Note the statement by the plant’s operator. Having two reactors stopped by the NRC is just a step in getting the reactors started by the NRC.

See also

Fairewinds Report:

Podcast from Nuclear Hotseat: San Onofre Failing Tests, Jon Stewart Gets Nuked

Published: April 2nd, 2012 at 10:14 am ET


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  3. CBS: Level 2 emergency declared at California nuke plant after ammonia leak — “Orange County Emergency Ops. Center has been activated” — Potential substandard degradation in level of safety of plant November 1, 2011
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74 comments to Fox San Diego: Unprecedented? California nuke plant forbidden from reopening — “We’ve really never seen the Feds take such a drastic step” — Locals stunned, alarmed (VIDEO)

  • StillJill StillJill




  • My thoughts are More to this then we have been told so far ! This may well be a Cover story, lets see IF this plant ever reopens ? !

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Hi xdrfox, I called Beyond Nuclear a couple of weeks ago. They are very interested in what's going on at San Onofre. We all might want to check their site for updates on this situation.

      • HoTaters,
        I figured you were right then,… would want to spook the residents in a large swath would they, When they say nothing to be concerned about,… I see the other side of it !
        I wonder if there is any air monitoring happening, … anyone close to there or downwind ??
        Didn't someone go to the hospital also !

  • Anyone have the signature count on shut down San Onofre initiative?

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi chemfood, I've been looking for that information for 2 months now – it's to be found NOWHERE. I think the deadline is on April 7, let's hope we get good news then.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Great news!! Unprecedented is right!

    Enformable We live on a really small planet and this demonstrates that what happens in Japan has the potential to affect us

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    "Having two reactors stopped by the NRC is just a step in getting the reactors started by the NRC." Thanks for pointing this out, Admin.
    What does that mean? Any ideas?

    • Maybe the thinking goes make a show of closing down a few clunkers might make new reactors an easier sell. See, we shut down some now move along.

  • bigfatscaryman sdyogini

    I can't emphasize this enough…YAY!!!!!!!! I'm 45 miles away but that's not enough….

  • bincbom

    Kudo to the NRC this time:

    1. The claimed "like for like" steam generator replacements obviously were not. The new steam generators – which are built differently and with different materials – are not working and are not going to.

    2. For some bizarre reason, SCE simply does not understand or accept this reality.

    And so the shutdown. SCE will have to replace those steam generators again, this time with properly-constructed units, or that sucker will never generate another MWH of electricity again.

    • bincbom,
      I think it is the piping and was thin a paper and holes galor, rusty, rusty, rusty, … would need a new plant easier to do then to fix this one !

  • bincbom

    oh, almost forgot: what's interesting is that even though what I said in my previous post MUST be true, the NRC does not yet have the courage or integrity to speak this truth to the public.

    I imagine that the SCE brass and investors are screaming like hell right now to the NRC and that there's a big battle taking place over this.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      HA! True bincbom – I'd love to be a fly on their headquarter's wall right now! Bet some blood is boiling there….right on, suckers.

  • Starheart Starheart

    Do you think that it is possible the some people in government have realized that by supporting the nuclear power industry, and the lies they have disseminated, they have signed on to the eventual death of everyone and everything on the planet?

    • many moons

      And on a lighter note…they might not get re-elected.

      Obama sits firmly (and with a chunk of change from GE) on the side of death and destruction PRO _NUKE all the way!!!!….I won't be voting for him.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    @ Starheart..I don't think so..San Onofre has problems..they have no other choice..methinks.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      I'm wondering why this isn't front page news everywhere. Esp in light of Fukushima. It's not at HP.

      • CaptD CaptD

        Great Question!

        Face it news in the USA is being controlled because their are so few Companies in the News Business and they are owned by Big Business…

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          Join FB yet CaptD? I really hope you will then become a member at F 311 WATCHDOGS. Yours would be a great added voice!

          • Whoopie Whoopie

            I'd love to see Md and Outnow there too! Hell, ALL YOU GUYS would be great added voices. They are getting new members all the time!

            • HoTaters HoTaters

              Whoopie, I don't post regularly to FB but I'll "like" it under my FB pseudonym. From time to time I make comments on FB about nuclear, but don't spend a lot of time there. Nonetheless, if I "like" it then everyone who is a friend or sees my posts may go there too.

              I'm a bit leery of FB and their surveillance. General Petraeus made some disturbing comments about how the CIA is survelling everyone, so I'm a bit cautious about what I say at FB.

              Nonetheless we can always "like" things and help others and good causes get exposure w/o making direct statements.

        • dharmasyd dharmasyd

          The mergers and monopolies into "Too Big To Inform" conglomerates have been more of the evils the left, progressive movments have fought for decades, to so little avail..

      • HP really been backing off the nuke stories lately

  • CaptD CaptD

    I'm sure that the Nuclear Industry is putting pressure on MSM to downplay this entire debacle; who better to pick than FOX News?

    The truth is that both reactors are un-necessary and that CA has plenty of capacity without them! Huge amount of good info on this link:
    No blackouts with San Onofre shut down | San Onofre Safety

    Solar prices are falling very fast and Nuclear is increasing; so why accept the RISK of a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster when Solar (of all flavors) is ready for prime time; unless you are a share holder of the Utility instead of a rate payer?


    Check out this clickable map to see how far and wide radiation would spread if the US suffered a meltdown like Fukushima:
    NRDC Nuclear Fallout Map of U.S.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      I liked what that one woman said – Something like:
      "So? We've done without it since Jan"

  • bincbom

    Another interesting facet of this: Remember what we're talking about here:

    A sizeable leak in the primary reactor coolant loop – the PRESSURIZED side that comes in contact with the fuel had significant leaks during these steam generator tube failures.

    This necessarily implies that a significant radiological release has ALREADY taken place. Would be interesting to get some geigers down there and get some current readings.

    • CaptD CaptD

      And remember that is during NORMAL opeeration!

      What happens when there is a BIG QUAKE while these two nuclear turkeys are running; think massive failures of the tubes and more…

      CA cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster any more than Japan!

      Imagine SoCal a No Go Zone because of radiation for generations!

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      One of the Beyond Nuclear team members I spoke with recently said the group has, "major concerns" about the tubes at San Onofre.

    • bincbom,
      You are on the money, Thats is the problem, see my comment up above !

  • CaptD CaptD

    See the huge number of great charts and posting here:


    The NRC should require the Utility to decommission SORE, (San Onofre Reactor Emergency), fine them and make them refund the huge amount that the rate payers have been forced to pay for this illegal overhaul!

  • CaptD CaptD

    To REPEAT:

    Beware Nuclear Baloney!
    The State of CA has plenty of spare capacity WITHOUT these 2 nuclear turkeys!:

    There will be No blackouts with San Onofre shut down, unless the Utility "punishes" US to control what form of Energy we have to pay them for:

    Solar (of all flavors ) is ready for prime time, unless the Nuclear Fascists* stop it from happening!

    Benefits of Solar (of all flavors):
    ✔ Less costly to build
    ✔ No Trillion Dollar Eco-Disasters
    ✔ Faster to construct
    ✔ CLEAN from start to finsh.
    ✔ No radiation worries or leaks
    ✔ No foreign dependency
    ✔ Prices dropping yearly
    ✔ Creates green jobs
    ✔ No nuclear cleanup expenses

    *Nuclear Fascism

    • suishou

      I don't think the concept of solar "plants" really even exists in the mass minds of Americans. Nuclear is an option because hey there is a big ole' plant that supplies power to everyone. But I think very few people even have the CONCEPT of a solar plant. Someone should really go around selling people on just the idea and I bet that would help a lot…

  • CaptD CaptD

    Forget ever using the name SONGS; call San Onofre what it is, a pair of nuclear reactors that have the WORST safety record of any US reactors; why should we allow the nuclear industry to "sweeten" image that by using a fluffy name?

    The truth is that everyone in SoCal has just been very LUCKY that Nature has not "yet" shaken San Onofre hard enough to cause a major meltdown or worse!

    Consider Japan as a test case; they now have a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster that is affecting their entire Country; how would California (and or the USA) pay for a similar event?

    Where would people relocate to and what would they do for housing, since their home owners insurance has a nuclear exclusion?

    If this happened at San Onofre, the "coastal" real estate loses alone would be more than a trillion dollars and remember the rest of the "HEARTLAND" of the USA is downwind.

  • CaptD CaptD


    I believe that if Americans really knew the true cost of Fukushima, WE, the people, would demand CHANGE and that is something that some of those in Government and the entire Nuclear Industry want to avoid at all cost!

    What will determine the total cost of their "Trillion Dollar" Eco-Disast­er?

    Please feel free to add your comments and or estimates to this list:
     Decommissi­oning costs
     Loss to all other radioactiv­e decontamin­ation caused by this Disaster.
     Loss of revenues by Tepco
     Loss to TEPCO's share holders caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of Japanese personal income caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss to Japanese businesses caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of all Japanese health costs related to radioactiv­ity
     Loss due to unusable Japanese Land related to radioactiv­ity
     Loss due to Japanese housing caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of Japanese Property Values caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of fishing grounds caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss of manufactur­ing caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss to the value of the Yen caused by radioactiv­ity
     Loss to other Utilities caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity
     Loss to Japans credit rating caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity
     Loss to the Japanese peoples Lives because of radiation

  • CaptD CaptD

    NRC: Fact Sheet on Nuclear Insurance and Disaster Relief

    In short, if there is more that 12 Billion in damages, we are SOL!
    This is only a tiny fraction of what it will cost in Fukushima,
    … Which will be about a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster!

    Where would the US Government get the REST of the Money,
    … Social Security and or Medicare?

    This question needs answering ASAP,
    … From both Congress and the Nuclear Industry!

    Then All Americans can determine if Nuclear is worth the HUGE RISK!

  • CaptD CaptD

    Key issues **not mentioned** in US MSM coverage:
    1. US Nuclear security is NOT getting FALLOUT from Fukushima…
    2. Where has all the highly radioactive material "gone" that was in Fukushima.
    3. US Leaders DO NOT think Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!
    4. Nuclear use should be REDUCED not increased Worldwide.
    5. The **NEGATIVE** Health effects of Low levels of radiation.

  • CaptD CaptD

    QUESTIONS that everyone should demand answers to, since San Onofre is the biggest potential manmade threat to ALL of Southern California:

    1. Why has Sempra not spoken to the news, what are they hiding?

    2. No News is the same MO as TEPCO is using for their Fukushima Disaster?
    … Their track record is one of looking out for their profits not SAFETY!

    3. Why are the "details" being with held from the public?

    4. Why is the Press not demanding daily inspection tour and news updates?

    5. Why should we "trust" the operator whose main goal is to get these
    … Reactors "on line" ASAP when they have the worst track record of
    … Any operators in the USA?

    6. Why should we depend upon the NRC to enforce it's own rules
    … When this operator retaliates against employees that report
    … Safety issues?

    7. Why must we accept the Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster RISK that
    … San Onofre poses for all of Southern California when the
    … State has less costly excess power that poses ZERO RISK?

    8. Why are our Local, State and National Leaders not speaking out?

    9. Why are we being kept in the dark about the HUGE RISKS of nuclear
    … reactors, the Global Radioactive Pollution from Fukushima's triple
    … Meltdowns that is still happening and has now circled the Planet

  • CaptD CaptD

    We are now are being ruled by those in Nuclear Denial*; instead of by Leaders that demand an end to the Trillion Dollar Eco-Disast­er RISK that Nuclear poses to mankind!

    How would the USA pay for a Fukushima
    Deal with a 50 mile NO GO ZONE around San Onofre ?

    Remember Nature does not follow design basis calculations or even engineering RISK formulas…

    The nuclear industry is fighting tooth and nail to maintain it’s market share; yet NOW Solar (of all flavors) is far less costly to construct, faster to construct and carries with it N☢ Nuclear radioactiv­e baggage that can kill a Countries economy and or those living nearby!
    Ask The Japanese!

    *Nuclear Denial
    The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

  • CaptD CaptD

    t is not just the Leaders, it is the Energy SYSTEM itself that is keeping the US from going Solar (of all flavors) much quicker…

    Every new solar panel and wind turbine installed, will make these two nuclear turkeys less necessary!

    Many, many more would install Solar if the Utilities paid those that installed Solar for the energy they put INTO the grid, at the very same rate that the Utility charges for that same Energy to folks that take Energy OUT of the Grid! By not paying the same amount, the Utility shareholders receive additional money they do not deserve and the folks that have installed solar end up with a much longer payback period!

    Remember Solar usually adds Energy during peak period of use (daytime) and it is only fair that if the Utility charges more for Energy used during that period (by using Smart meters) then they should also credit those with Solar that add Energy during those periods!


  • Not sure how "unprecedented" this is, as NRC had to make basically the same threat to North Anna last year when Dominion was determined to restart without thorough inspections. There was a short delay, then the NRC allowed Dominion to do the "eyeball" inspections (they looked at it, it looked fine to them) and restart.

    Since Fukushima NRC likes to strut about pretending it's all tough, but in truth they're still the same industry lap cats they've always been. They'll let SO restart as soon as SCE insists. The real hold-up at this point is SCE's indecision on whether or not they want to pour a lot of good money after bad down the blow hole of SONGS, or just shrug and call it quits. Their stakeholders will have to weigh in on that, in light of utility commission rulings about who gets to pay the bills.

    • CaptD CaptD

      Great comment!
      left unsaid is the ongoing debate over the tube "upgrade" which many now see as the Utility not being honest with the NRC…

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      JoyB…Good note of caution before "we" get too falsely excited about a victory not really won yet.

      We must continue to hold the NRC, SCE, et al's feet to the nuclear fire!

  • CaptD CaptD

    I wonder how the "tubes" are in all the Japanese reactors..­.

    The NRC gave the Nuclear Industry a "PASS" on the tube wear issue before on San Onofre and other reactors around the Country http://wp.­me/p21p6a-­77L
    They are realizing that they have a much bigger problem than they first "imagined"­; metal erosion cannot be tolerated when the radioactiv­e leakage is not only high in temperatur­e but also high in amount of radiation!

    Would you use a dangerous leaking pressure pot day after day,
    … or would you be smart and replace it with something safer?
    Why nuclear is on the way out:
    1. Radiation is dangerous to man
    2. Expensive to build compared to Competitive Power Sources.
    3. Creates long lasting radioactiv­e waste
    4. Risky because Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor,
    … Any place anytime 24/7/365!
    5. No meaningful insurance for MAJOR radioactive damages to property or people!

    Here is one scientific report that spreads some truth:

    Radionuclides from the Fukushima accident in the air over Lithuania

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      The San Onofre design is different from the Mark 1 reactors.

      This is the design:

      Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors.

      Here's another quote (different source). Sorry, I lost the link.

      "San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is a 3 unit site located ~10 miles south of San Clemente, California. Unit 1, shutdown in 1992, was a 425 MWe first generation Westinghouse commercial unit (same as Connecticut Yankee) that operated for 25 years. Units 2 and 3 are of the Combustion Engineering 2 Loop Pressurized Water Reactor design. Unit 2 started up in 1983 and Unit 3 in 1984. Each unit is rated at ~ 1100 MWe."

      Light water and pressurized water reactors:

      Interesting article on criticisms of BWR's:

      Here's a Wikipedia article with a nice map. You can click on the locations of nuclear power stations on the map, and launch an article describing each plant in detail, including design overview:

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    One down, and one to go. And don't stop there because East coast is littered with reactors. And Europe ..absolutely littered with nuke plants …waiting for the next catastrophe.

    • CaptD CaptD

      Yes, seems the Nuclear Industry has a strangle hold on the East Coast of the USA, maybe it's because they were President Obama's largest donor! 🙁

      • ruth

        The only purpose of nuclear power is in support of the military industrial complex and as President Eisenhower warned in the 1950's they are the most powerful force and they make sure they control every US President.

        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          President Eisenhower: 'In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
          We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.'

          • dharmasyd dharmasyd

            moonshell…And Thomas Jefferson warned us way back in the day that (to paraphrase) the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

            Is it too late? Have we missed our chance? Can we get another chance?

            I am reminded of the performance of Lohengrin when the hero turned at the end of his last aria to step 'aboard' the swan which was to carry him off, stage left, only to find that the swan was already exuenting without him. He turned to the audience, and asked with great stage presence: "What time's the next swan?"

            Do we get another chance?

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      True. I vote France. 🙁

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Great comments!

  • bincbom

    A very daunting aspect of San Onofre:

    Let's say that the Feds and SCE decide to do the right thing and close down this disaster of a PWR nuclear power plant.

    That would be great, but not a solution for the first-order problem, which as we have learned from Fuk is the spent fuel pools. San Onofre will be JUST AS VULNERABLE to earthquake/tsunami devastation even if its reactors are shut down permanently. This is because the SFP's must remain intact, with water cooling them, for some very long period of time. Which is what, by the way? Something like 10-20 years for the spent fuel to be dry casked?

    • CaptD CaptD

      Far better to be shut down NOW than later,
      … Every days is yet another RISKY day!

      p.s. If they knew they were going to be shut down there are many things they could do to beef up the SFP to make it much safer and EQ resilient!

      • bincbom

        That's true. The sooner we shut these things down, the sooner we can get through the "spent fuel MUST be kept cool at all times OR ELSE" waiting period required before we can all be safe once again!

    • chrisk9

      Spent fuel pools in PWR's are much better designed than in GE's BWR's. Fukushima and other BWR's place their spent fuel pools up in the air on the 5th floor of the building. If the building collapses god help us all. In PWR's the pools are at ground level. And these PWR's have a number of other sources that can be used to add water.
      The GE design has always worried even the GE engineers.

      • CaptD CaptD

        Once they are moved to dry cask storage off site the problem disappears!
        Nature does not follow design guide lines…

    • 6 to 8 years to cooled in water before they can be dry casted !

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Btw, that plant abruptly closing and not being allowed to re-start …maybe someone should take readings from the area (like Arnie did in Tokyo).

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      The Bit Picture, Someone already has taken readings at San Clemente / San Onofre. Guess who reported it? Who else? Right here on enenews!

      This story and the geiger readings were by a group of Japanese who went to San Onofre for the 3/11/12 one year anniversary.

      Please also check out the UCSD professor who went on TV to say their reading were wrong. Watch the TV clip where he shows a counter reading 15.0!!!

      I wrote to him to question this. He wrote back telling me his GC was set to rems, not micro-Ss. When I originally read the story, I thought he must be a physicist or nuclear engineer. In listening again today, I saw that he is faculty in the Business Department.

      But you are right, we need more readings. I'll keep a look for anything else coming from nuke SONGS!

      • CaptD CaptD

        Great Post!

        Forget ever using the name SONGS; call San Onofre what it is, a pair of nuclear reactors that have the WORST safety record of any US reactors; why should we allow the nuclear industry to "sweeten" image that by using a fluffy name?

        The truth is that everyone in SoCal has just been very LUCKY that Nature has not "yet" shaken San Onofre hard enough to cause a major meltdown or worse!

        Consider Japan as a test case; they now have a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster that is affecting their entire Country; how would California (and or the USA) pay for a similar event?

        Where would people relocate to and what would they do for housing, since their home owners insurance has a nuclear exclusion?

        If this happened at San Onofre, the "coastal" real estate loses alone would be more than a trillion dollars and remember the rest of the "HEARTLAND" of the USA is downwind.

  • dave14139

    We should ALL be stunned and alarmed that these plants continue to operate – way beyond their design lifespan – with no plan to dispose of the deadly waste. Unless leaving the waste in the spent fuel pools forever is the plan. I cannot believe our stupidity and lack of planning. What could be a higher priority than safeguarding our nuclear waste?

  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


    "What could be a higher priority than safeguarding our nuclear waste?"

    Answer: $ + nuclear weapons.

    • CaptD CaptD

      Imagine how much money these nuclear Industries are going to make from de-Commissioning these nuclear turkeys!

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        Hi CaptD..When I think about the money made..and the danger and futility of the decommision effort…
        It fries my brain.
        That's why I let others talk about the money…
        It's disgusting.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear weapons were thought to be a deterrent during the cold war, but turned out to be useless. And sadly, attempting to use the technology to help create electricity has turned out to be catastrophic. And we're not out of the woods. Far from it.

  • stopnp stopnp

    Hoofriggenray! I really hope this is a trend that continues. Ultimately shining a huge, blinding light on how dangerous nuclear energy creation is.