By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press
Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry, and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future.
San Onofre May Be Contaminated
On the last day of last year San Diego’s NBC 7 TV ran a story “Portions of San Onofre May Be Contaminated.”
The San Onofre nuclear plant unexpectedly and permanently shut down in 2013. Southern California Edison is the major owner, with San Diego Gas and Electric its minority partner.
NBC 7 reported:
“San Onofre may be (radioactively) contaminated from activities conducted by Edison on land where San Onofre sits.”
According to NBC 7, the utilities have been leasing the shoreline land from the US Navy. The lease is supposed to end in 2023, but Edison and SDG&E want to end it earlier now that San Onofre is shut down for good.
According to the terms of the lease, the utilities are supposed to clean up radioactive or other contamination on the San Onofre site. NBC 7 cited an October 2, 2011 letter from Edison spokesperson Maureen Brown that states:
“There is no current radiological contamination at San Onofre.”
But NBC 7 Investigates found that “contaminated soil, asphalt, and concrete” on the San Onofre site “was dug up and moved” to another area on site. NBC & reported:
“Shipping records show 390 55-gallon drums were shipped off site four years later.”
TV 7 asked the San Onofre utilities about this information, but reported “multiple attempts to reach Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric have gone unanswered.”
Update on Shutting Down Indian Point in New York
Patch.com is an internet news network that exists in many states, including New York state. On January 6 the network posted a story, “NRC OKs weapons at Indian Point Despite New York Law.”
Readers of Nuclear Shutdown News may be familiar with the troublesome 1970s- era twin reactors at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Station, located on the Hudson River 40 miles north of New York City.
These reactors experienced multiple unplanned shutdowns in 2015, including one caused by an electrical transformer fire that resulted in oil and other pollutants being released into the Hudson.
Last December both Indian Point reactors suffered unplanned shutdowns.
On December 28 Indian Point Unit 3’s operating license expired. Unit 2’s license ran out in September 2013.
Despite both licenses having expired, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to allow the reactors to operate (and shut down frequently) while it ponders a request by owner Entergy of New Orleans to extend the now run out licenses for another 20 years.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Mario Cuomo has been fighting for years for the permanent shutdown of Indian Point.
On January 22, Reuters reported “Entergy asked a US federal court to overturn Cuomo’s objections to the continued operation of Indian Point.”
Going back to the Patch.com story, the network reported:
“the NRC has granted presumption authority to nuclear facilities in New York and California.
“This will allow security forces at these (nuclear0 facilities to possess and use certain firearms and related devices despite local, state and federal laws restricting their use.”
Patch.com also reported this included use of “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.”
The nuke plants allowed to use such weapons are “Indian Point, Fitzgerald, Nine Mile Point and Ginna in New York, and San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in California, as well as their spent fuel dry cask and pool storage facilities,” which hold large amounts of high level radioactive waste.
By the way, the Fitzgerald nuke in upstate New York is also owned by Entergy, which announced in late 2015 that it plans to shut it down in early 2017.
Ironically, NY Governor Cuomo opposes this move, because he contends it would threaten the state’s electric energy supply.
Entergy says that nuke needs to be shut down because it can no longer make a profit.