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East County News Service

September 24, 2017 (San Diego)--Critics are calling today's planned rally in Oceanside that "celebrates the removal of nuclear waste at San Onofre" a sham that does not reflect reality, the opinions of nuclear waste experts or the community. These experts say the celebration tricks the media and the public into believing that the nuclear waste problems at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) have been solved.

Local critics say that Citizens Oversight, the group hosting the "celebration" is misleading the public with magical thinking and an irrational belief in "purple unicorns."

The local opinion is shared by none other than  Gregory Jaczko, the former Chair of the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Jaczko recently slammed the settlement deal as "a recipe for sustained failure" and he is not alone in faulting the deal.  See also:

"San Onofre Waste Not Going Anywhwere"- City Beat

"Deal Stinks like a Bolivian Fish Barrel."  John and Ken Show, KFI AM radio

"Nuke Waste Deal a Sham" - KUSI News

"Deal could push nuke waste Out"  Critics call it a "nothing burger" - OC Register

"Potential for Mobile Chernobyls" - San Diego Reader 

San Diego Union Tribune Editors call Nuke Waste Deal "pathetic" - San Diego UT

"Former Chair of NRC says Deal Serves Utility, Not Public" - San Diego UT

Public Watchdogs critique here

Read the settlement.

Claims of "victory" by Community Oversight CEO Ray Lutz are like "Napoleon claiming victory at Waterloo," says Langley.

 According to Donna Gilmore, leader of the San Clemente-based San Onofre Safety, the comparison is too charitable. "Calling this settlement a 'win' is like saying that Custer won at the Little Bighorn. They're putting lipstick on a pig."

According to Charles Langley of Public Watchdogs, the settlement actually locks in Southern California Edison's plans to store the nuclear waste eternally on the beach in cans that are only guaranteed to last 25 years, and in a system that is only warranted to last ten years by the manufacturer (source).

"The so-called victory actually affirms Edison's dubious right to bury nuclear waste on the beach that's deadly for 250,000years" says Langley. "These people are dangerous. They know that once the waste is buried on the beach it will stay there forever." 

Prior to the settlement, which affirms Southern California Edison's right to bury nuclear waste on the beach, Lutz said in a wildly popular viral video that "If this goes in the  ground here, it probably never will get back out."  

According to Darin McClure, a long-time San Clemente public safety advocate, claims that the settlement will help the public are delusional.  "Ray Lutz and his attorneys are riding off into the sunset  on purple unicorns." 

Lutz, in a phone interview in late August, countered, ““The settlement deal requires that Southern California Edison hire experts to plan the movement of the fuel to an alternative site and then implement that plan.  Plus it requirements they provide inspection and repair 15 years earlier than the permit requirement, and we will be getting reports of the progress  in completing the plan.”

Going forward, Lutz has stated, "We will be working to solve this problem here rather than just ignoring it, like is being done everywhere else. This is an important step to take, even if we may not move the fuel instantly.  This is not about moving it because of NIMBY concerns,” the long-time consumer activist makes clear. “We need to find the least damaging place for nuclear waste,” adding, “and 100 feet from the ocean, near earthquake faults, a major freeway and rail corridor, tsunami risks, and 8.4 million residents is not the best place."

Continuing with litigation would have been prohibitively expensive, Lutz added later in a radio interview, in which he responded to critics’ claims in detail.. He also stated that if Edison does not make a good faith effort to hire experts to devise a feasible plan for moving the waste, Citizens Oversight could ask a court to intervene.

Hear ECM’s radio interview with Ray Lutz, originally aired earlier this month on KNSJ  Radio, here:


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