By Miriam Raftery
March 27, 2014 (San Diego)—After the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) were shut down in 2012 due to faulty steam generators, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) continued to charge ratepayers for the costs associated with replacing those generators. Edison later announced permanent decommissioning of the nuclear facility in June 2013 due to serious safety problems.
Ratepayers will be receiving refunds from SDG&E and Edison for those charges, if a joint settlement agreement announced today is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The settlement was reached SCE, the CPUC Office of Ratepayer Advocates, and The Utility Reform Network (TURN).
By Miriam Raftery
June 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – As ECM reported on June 7, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) will be shut down permanently. Reactions locally range from celebration among activists pushing for the closure to concerns over stored nuclear fuel, job losses, and a new bill that could ramp up pressure for approval of other energy projects including large-scale wind and solar projects in East County.
EAST COUNTY LEADERS AMONG THOSE SPEAKING OUT APRIL 15 AT SAN DIEGO EVENT ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ISSUES
April 13, 2013 (San Diego) – A growing movement seeks to build awareness of social and environmental justice issues related to energy production. While the world has jumped on the “green bandwagon” in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use of fossil fuels and nuclear, how much difference are alternatives such as wind and solar power really making? What are the unforeseen consequences on communities, public health and the environment? Why isn’t the media reporting on these issues?
On April 15, prominent environmentalists and community leaders will speak on local experiences and on growing national/international movements seeking social and environmental justice. Speakers at the event titiled “Energy Projects, Fracking, and Rights of Mother Earth” include Donna Tisdale, chair of Boulevard Planning Group and co-founder of two nonprofits battling big energy projects in East County, Terry Weiner with the Desert Protective Council and Solar Done Right, attorney Bill Pate who handled a legal challenge to the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, Peg Mitchell with SanDiego350.org and Citizens Climate Lobby, and Carlos Pelayo, Asociación de Jornaleros y Trabajadores de Casa.
In wake of disaster, children on the west coast of U.S. almost one-third more likely to suffer from thyroid abnormalities; 39% in California
Originally published on April 2, 2013 at Common Dreams
By Lauren McCauley, staff writer
Infants on the West Coast of the United States are showing increased incidents of thyroid abnormalities, which researchers are attributing to radiation released following the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
According to a new study (.pdf) published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics, children born in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington between one week and 16 weeks after the meltdown began are an average of 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism (CH) than were kids born in those states during the same period one year earlier. In California, the number is a staggering 39 percent.
CH results from a build up of radioactive iodine in our thyroids and can result in stunted growth, lowered intelligence, deafness, and neurological abnormalities—though can be treated if detected early.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY TAXPAYER ASSOCIATION PUSH FOR QUAIL BRUSH GAS POWER PLANT FUELS IRE: OPPONENTS SAY PLANT IS A BOONDOGGLE THAT WILL BE COSTLY FOR TAXPAYERS
“The danger is that consumers will be required to pay for an expensive gas-fired plant they don’t’ need now or in the future.” – The Utility Reform Network
By Miriam Raftery
February 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Why is the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) pushing for a fossil fuel power plant that many authoritative sources indicate is not needed and will prove costly to taxpayers?
In a letter sent February 20, 2013 to the California Public Utilities Commission, Lani Lutar, president and chief executive officer of the SDTCA, urged the Commission to postpone a decision on the Quail Brush gas-fired power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park, until after the California Energy Commission has completed its examination of the project.
February 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- States join battle over drone fights (The Hill)
- The Voting Rights Act: Under fire (Ebony)
- Sequestration could mean across the board pain (CBS)
- FTC advises consumers to keep eye out for unauthorized charges on credit card bills (ABC)
- Kerry comes out swinging on climate change (The Hill)
- Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilian workers (The Hill)
- In US, big strides in reducing domestic violence (CS Monitor)
- Farmer's Fight With Monsanto Reaches The Supreme Court (NPR)
- Who will clean up after the nuclear plants? (Christian Science Monitor)
- Alaska brewery plans to use beer as source of green energy (Fox)
- Meteor blast injures 1,000 in Russia (CNN)
- Ozone hole shrinks to new low (Christian Science Monitor)
- Journalist rips ‘pro-life’ Republicans for seeking to cut infant nutrition program (Raw Story)
- GOP lawmakers propose $30 million a year to fund cops in schools program (The Hill)
- India farmers’ rice revolution (UK Guardian)
- U.K. Slaughterhouses Raided As Europe's Horse Meat Scandal Widens (NPR)
- A glimpse of Mexico's new crime fighting strategy (Christian Science Monitor)
- Chernobyl hit by roof collapse (BBC)
- The Afghan Battle Over A Law To Protect Women (NPR)
- Foreigners arrested for trying to spread Christianity in Libya (Reuters)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
Despite disturbing finding, Edison seeks to restart trouble-prone nuclear facility
Hearing Nov. 30 in Laguna Hills as nine cities voice concerns over safety issues
By Miriam Raftery
November 30, 2012 (San Diego)—Southern California Edison has notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of possible sabotage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating facility, after finding coolant poured in the oil reservoir of an emergency backup generator at Unit 3, Energy News reports.
The FBI is taking over the investigation and criminal charges are possible, according to a plant employee who spoke under condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals, Huffington Post reported yesterday. The NRC has confirmed that Edison reported potential sabotage,Energy News reported.
"The FBI is aware of the alleged security incident that occurred at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating (SONGS) Station. The FBI is presently reviewing the facts and circumstances concerning this incident," Special agent Darrell Foxworth with the FBI told ECM. "At this time there is no indication that this incident is terrorism related."
Previous news stories have speculated that a disgruntled employee could be the culprit due to recent layoff announcements.
Failure of emergency generators at Fukushima were key factors in that plant’s meltdown last year. A meltdown at San Onofre would force evacuation of San Diego, portions of East County and also parts of Orange and Riverside counties and could potentially leave the region contaminated for generations.
- U.S. economy expands more than anticipated (BBC)
- Isaac reduces to tropical storm, lashes Louisiana (USA Today)
- Do wind turbines cause forest fires? (Bangor Daily News)
- Army issues multi-billion dollar solicitation for large scale renewable and alternative energy production for federal installations (Foley)
- Republicans highlight Romney nomination, but poll shows low popularity (ABC News)
- Romney: I’d cut PBS, Obamacare, arts subsidies (CBS News)
- McCain: America “can’t afford” another Obama WH (CBS News)
- President Obama answers questions on Reddit-AMA; read his full answers (CBS News)
- publicans hate Obama’s defense cuts. The trouble is, they voted for them (Washington Post wonk bl
- Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on abortion: Rape is just another “method of conception”(RawStory)
- Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words (FoxNews.com)
- Al Qaeda followers call for death of Seal who wrote Osama bin Ladin capture book (Washington Post)
- Venezuela investigates alleged massacre in Amazon village (Reuters)
- Romney: Nuclear Iran “unacceptable” (CBS)
- Romney would let wind energy tax credits expire, campaign says (Denver Post)
- Leaders have agreement to avoid pre-election government shut-down (The Hill)
- Scathing report on for-profit colleges and their $32 billion in tax dollars (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
- Congress warned that Al Qaeda in Iraq is coming to America (Jewish World Review)
- Scalia: Guns may be regulated (National Journal)
- More worries for the wealthy? Inheritance taxes to jump unless Congress acts (Christian Science Monitor)
- U.S. raises taxes on Chinese wind turbine makers (NY Times)
- 14 reasons why this is the worst Congress ever (Wonkblog)
- India blackout affects millions, grid failure among world’s worst power outage (Reuters)
- Japan utility gets $12.8B nuclear crisis bailout (UT San Diego)
- Cuba broadens economic reforms, plans new measures (Reuters)
- In pictures: Olympics opening ceremonies (BBC)
- Thousands flee amid growing ethnic violence in India (NPR)
- Catching up with San Diego’s legislators (San Diego CityBeat)
- Report: Padres to be sold to group including local golf star (10 News)
- Survey: Islam is San Diego County’s fastest growing religion (UT San Diego)
- Could economics doom ailing California nuclear plant? (Sacramento Bee)
- Santee among cities getting park grants (UT San Diego)
- Padre dam board settles on five-year plan (UT San Diego)
- ‘Appalled’ at Costs, Residents Slam Helix Water District Rate Hike Plan
- California growers join greens to query frack safety (Reuters)
- Legislature approves high speed rail spending (SF Gate)
- Historic bridges of Yosemite Valley under siege (Sacramento Bee)
- Study: What makes Californians smile? (News Service .org)
- College tuition is political fodder, from the state Legislature to the presidential campaign trail (Sacramento Bee)
- Rising costs push California cities to fiscal brink
PROTESTERS TO CALL FOR SHUT-DOWN OF SAN ONOFRE AT SEMPRA HEADQUARTERS AFTER SENATOR WARNS OF FUKUSHIMA THREAT TO U.S.
“The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this spent fuel a security issue for the United States.”—Senator Ron Wyden
May 17, 2012 (San Diego)—U.S. Senator Ron Wyden recently visited Japan and issued a warning that the U.S. faces a national security risk from spent fuel pools at Fukushima’s Unit 4. View an MSNBC interview with Wyden.
If another quake strikes the already exposed spent fuel--an event seismic experts say is likely to occur this year--experts including a Nobel Prize winner and a former U.N. ambassador now say that a cataclysmic disaster could occur threatening lives across the globe.
- Officials watch for body bombs on US bound planes (ABC news)
- Occupy activists breathe new life into May Day (The Nation)
- Why you should be worried about the California mad cow case (Mother Jones)
- Number of painkiller addicted newborns soars (USA Today)
- New world trade center surpasses Empire State Building (CBS News)
- Why is safety a divisive issue for nuclear regulatory commission? (Los Angeles Times)
- Wind farms warming earth in Texas: Turbines mixing air at night could affect local climate and farming (Discovery)
- CMS: Obama healthcare law has saved seniors $34 billion on prescription drugs (The Hill)
- Romney: Osama hit was easy call (The Hill)
- Mexico passes crime victims’ law (BBC)
- 2-horse race in final stretch for Egypt presidency (Reuters)
- Ugandan army says Sudan is backingJoseph Kony’s LRA (BBC)
- Tokyo soil samples would be considered nuclear waste in U.S. (Fairewinds)
- Transcript: Obama hails 'light of a new day' in Afghanistan
Presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society at the The United Church of Christ of La Mesa (UCCLM)
No? Susan Conniry and Tom Beasley, authors of Ready or Not: A Disaster Survival Handbook, can help.
May 13, 2011 (Japan) Officials at Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), operator of the hard-hit Fukushima nuclear facility, yesterday publicly confirmed that a meltdown has occurred at Reactor number one.
Now Japan’s nuclear safety agency states that efforts to cool the reactor with water may be pointless, since fuel rods are believed to have melted and sunk to the bottom of the containment vessel—where highly radioactive water is now leaking through holes at the bottom, Japan’s NHK World news agency reports.
By Miriam Raftery
May 11, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Several of our readers have asked for updates on the crisis at the Fukushima, Japan nuclear reactors. I expected that since the story seems to have fallen off the radar of most major media, the situation might have stabilized.
The truth is quite the opposite. The best site I found with reliable updates is Energy News, a site dedicated to reporting the Fukushima crisis with links to top news stories and videos from reputable news agencies worldwide. High radiation levels have been found consistently outside the official exclusion zone. Yesterday’s headlines alone make clear that a resolution is nowhere in site:
Nuclear disaster offers lessons to be learned in San Diego, as safety questions arise over San Onofre
By Miriam Raftery
April 27, 2011 (San Diego) – They are the tiniest victims of the world’s worst nuclear disaster: the children of Chernobyl. Yet few have seen their photos or heard their story, even as the world marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl crisis this week. If you haven’t seen these shocking images, view them here: http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/essay/chernobyl.
Now imagine this happening to the children of San Diego, which lies within 50 miles of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Or having our city evacuated for our lifetime and beyond, as residents near the Fukushima, Japan, reactors are now enduring.
Editor's note: This column was deleted at the request of the author for further fact-checking.
By Tracy Emblem
March 19, 2011 (San Diego) -- No new nuclear power plants have been built in the United States since the late 1970's. However, in 2009, Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee unveiled his blueprint to build 100 nuclear power plants within the next 20 years.
Even with the nuclear power plant crisis unfolding in Japan, the senator insists that nuclear energy is safe and continues to call on the federal government to guarantee loans for nuclear power plants with tax payer dollars.