Monday, August 3, 2009
The Half-Closed Reactor of San Onofre
We took a day trip south from LA to San Onofre nuclear power plant much too near San Clemente, which hangs on the cliffs above beautiful beaches. There on the Pacific shore, sandwiched between two popular beaches for swimming and surfing, loom two ominous domes. . .
"Unit 1 is no longer in service. This reactor was a first generation Westinghouse pressurized water reactor that operated for 25 years, closing permanently in 1992. Units 2 and 3, Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors, continue to operate and generate 1,172 MWe and 1,178 MWe, respectively. The plant is operated by Southern California Edison. Edison International, parent of SCE, holds 78% ownership in the plant; San Diego Gas & Electric Company, 20%; and the City of Riverside Utilities Department, 1.8%.
The environment is protected from potential unexpected releases of radioactivity by strong, spherical containment buildings. This containment structure feature was missing at the reactors at Chernobyl.
The closest fault line is the Christianitos fault, which is supposedly inactive." (Wikepedia)
All well and good, but consider the following!
"San Onofre safety lapses disclosed" - Los Angeles Times, 1/15/08
"More falsified documents investigated at San Onofre" - North County Times, 6/28/08
"San Onofre's Problems Continue" - February 25, 2009 Voice of San Diego (excellent!)
"Regulators criticize safety "culture" at San Onofre nuke plant" - North County Times, 5/7/09
Please remember, one end product of the nuclear reactor cycle (plutonium) is the beginning product of the nuclear weapons cycle. . .
What if we put the 52 BILLION U.S. dollars each year currently going to nuclear weapons towards the development and deployment of renewable and sustainable energy solutions and environmental restoration, instead?
ALSO: Please know that our journeys are also being charted at the WILPF Disarm site!