I recently had to have an emergency eye surgery for a detached retina.  Last Friday I went back for more laser treatment but I may need another major surgery on Tuesday that could take months to recover from. I welcome your prayers, good wishes, crossed fingers or other positive vibes, as I await the surgeon's decision on Monday. 

Since it may be difficult to do much writing for a while, I'll give you a brief overview (in case you only have time for that) along with embedded links documenting our concerns about nuclear waste at San Onofre. I want you to be well informed and feel confident enough about the facts to share them with others. I believe that raising awareness is our best hope for reaching a better outcome. 

Please take the time to see this related video if you can, to give you the proper perspective on our situation. It is about the same Department of Energy that we are placing our trust in.

The latest Community Engagement Panel (CEP) meeting confirmed that Edison is not really interested in what the public has to say. Things got chaotic when moderator, David Victor (and others), lost his temper and threatened to quit. He went on to warn us, in an intimidating way, that our concerns bordered on being libelous. Although I was fresh out of surgery, I just had to race down there for the public comments period to set the record straight. Our claims and concerns are well documented, as you will see below.

Our goal is to give the public access to independent experts so we can ask questions and get reliable feedback on matters that are critical to our safety and property. It seems unethical that Edison is able to use funds from ratepayers like us, only to promote their own agenda, but that is what is taking place. If Edison continues to refuse our requests to invite guest speakers that have contrasting points of view, we may need to create our own forum to do so. I've started a list of questions we want answered and you are welcome to email me with some of your own (see below)

You can support this effort by requesting to hear from independent experts in an email to david.victor@ucsd.edu and to CEP Secretary, dan.stetson@nicholas-endowment.org for distribution to the entire panel. Please CC me as well, gary@sanclementegreen.org.

Excerpts from the CEP meeting on 11/10/2016 

Note: Please be aware that some videos may not be starting automatically 
at the beginning  due to technical difficulties that I was unable to resolve. 
You might have to slide it back to the starting position manually.

SJC Mayor Pro Tem and CEP panelist, Pamela Patterson challenges the intent of the CEP.
Moderator, David Victor, loses control of the meeting and his temper, (as did others).

David Victor, as if to intimidate the public, claims that we 
have made libelous statements that have not been not supported. 
You'll see that we absolutely have done so in documents that follow.

Video of presentation given by Charles Langley on behalf of San Clemente Green.
See entire script and images below.

A sickly Gary Headrick shows up with his "evil eye" to set the record straight.

In an earlier CEP meeting, Kris Singh, admits that their
 containment system  can crack but can't be repaired. 

In the next CEP meeting, Rita Conn of Secure Nuclear Waste, raises questions 
of bribery, fines and disbarment, for which she later provides 
credible evidence supporting her concerns, (below). 

Kris Singh gives her a stinging rebuttal, deserving of an apology, if not the two million dollars he promised to pay. Of course, the CEP chooses to ignore such things.

Documents supporting Rita Conn's claims that were provided to the CEP but ignored.

Here you'll find the factual evidence behind our concerns about 
Holtec's cracking issues provided by Donna Gilmore of San Onofre Safety


I think that it is hard to get everything out of the first hearing of it.  I'm copying my whole presentation here so you and others, including CEP members, can view it again. A huge thanks to those who could show up at the meeting. Great to see you there, but we need to get more folks supporting this effort. Please share this information far and wide.

CEP Presentation 11-10-16 
(delivered by Charles Langley)

Gary Headrick was unable to attend tonight's meeting due to an emergency eye surgery and asked me to take his place. I am glad to have this opportunity to participate in your panel discussion to consider the CEP's performance for the past three years and to give constructive criticism and make suggestions for where to go from here. I do this on behalf of San Clemente Green and others who share our justifiable concerns.

Looking back, it is important to remember that Edison had a terrible safety record and the worst work environment in the nation when they were still operating. An astonishing NRC survey found that 25% of SONGS employees feared retaliation for reporting safety concerns to management. Just imagine how many did not want to admit that in the survey.

This caused employees to reach out to San Clemente Green in 2010, but their explicit warnings were ignored by Edison and the NRC as well as our own city council who opted to "leave it to the experts". The predictions that a failed steam generator might leak radiation into the environment actually took place two years later.

We were fortunate that Unit 3 was shut down before the situation could escalate into a major disaster. For that we are deeply grateful to those heroic employees who managed to control that emergency situation as well as they did. We got lucky the same way those at Three Mile Island did years before.

See entire letter here

Edison and the NRC still choose to ignore recent warnings from someone working there now. This person claims that $80 M has changed hands in negotiations between dry cask makers, Holtec and Areva, for no apparent reason. But far more important is the fact that damaged fuel assemblies may have been loaded into dry casks without "canning" them first with an extra layer of protection, as required by the NRC. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission quickly dismissed this by responding, "In summary, the NRC has determined that the information does not describe an impropriety or inadequacy associated with NRC-regulated activities. Therefore, the NRC plans no further action regarding that information."

Our greatest fear is that we are on a path leading to a situation that has no way of escaping or protecting our property and loved ones from contamination. Adding to our anxiety is the realization that we can't rely on any of the organizations that are supposed to be looking out for our own well being. Dry cask containers may become untouchable as they begin leaking millions of curies just from the first of many microscopic cracks to come. An earthquake might drain an overcrowded spent fuel pool and spew out clouds of radiation in a zirconium fire that can't be extinguished by water. Terrorists might cause even worse damage if you can imagine that. And yet, the CEP is going along with a plan that even ordinary folks can see doesn't hold water, let alone radiation. 

This is the questionable plan as it is being executed today...

The NRC has arbitrarily determined that temporary nuclear waste storage systems are now capable of handling this volatile material not just for twenty years, but sixty years, maybe one hundred years or more if that is what it takes to find a better place to take it. They have also approved dismantling the safety net protecting our communities simply because the plant is no longer operational. The onsite fire department specializing in nuclear facilities has been discharged. Spent fuel pools that offer the only remediation for reloading a damaged container will be destroyed after the last fuel assembly has been removed from the pools.

The Coastal Commission has "conditionally" approved burying nuclear waste one hundred feet from the rising ocean, allowing a twenty year grace period to prove that it is actually safe to do so. They were somehow convinced that new technology would become available in the future, just like the promise that a permanent nuclear waste repository would be available long before now. And Edison has the perfect out if something does go terribly wrong. They can always turn around and blame the Department of Energy for not picking up the waste when they should have.

Edison has selected Holtec as the contractor, with the NRC's blessings, even after their CEO admitted that their containers can be expected to crack, but can't be repaired. He lied to the CEP and the public when he vehemently denied being fined and debarred for bribery charges. But Edison is still going with Holtec anyway, while the CEP remains silently compliant. Are these really the standards that we should be willing to accept when we are dealing with 89 times more radiation than was released in the Chernobyl accident?

Where has the CEP gone wrong?

To put it bluntly, you have been doing a lot of talking but not much listening to anyone else but Edison or their vendors and consultants. The big questions that are often ignored are; What if they are wrong again? What would the consequences be and how would they react in the worst case scenario? The plan that the CEP is going along with only works if Edison can predict the future accurately. The most recent proof of that not being the case is the failed steam generator replacement project which led to the shutdown. How can this body whose primary guiding principle is public safety even consider a plan that relies on technology that has yet to be invented, tested and proven?

While the CEP is not a decision making body, Edison likes to say that "the Community Engagement Panel and a number of community stakeholders have aligned to support their proposals ". That is because "engagement" has largely been a one way street and you don't seem to be listening to our legitimate concerns. There could be far better options that may not favor Edison's objectives, but need to be considered for the sake of ALL.

Our request is to allow independent, unbiased experts to critique Edison's plan by making presentations and taking questions from the panel and the community at large. There are some very well qualified professionals in this field who might think it is a bad idea to bury nuclear waste inches above the rising water table, one hundred feet from the waves, in an earthquake/tsunami zone using containers that are known to develop cracks in a marine environment. It is incumbent on all of us to keep this nuclear waste under the safest conditions possible for as long as it takes to be moved to a better location. We can and must do better than this, with so much at stake.

Potential candidates for independent experts
(you can email me other suggestions)

Representative from the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
Gregory Jaczko - Former head of the NRC during Fukushima accident
Peter Bradford - Former NRC Commissioner during the Three Mile Island crisis
Arnie Gunderson - Nuclear engineering consultant for the past 40 years
Daniel Hirsch - Director of Nuclear Policy Programs at UC Santa Cruz

Potential questions to be answered by independent experts 
(you can email me other suggestions)

What does the worst case scenario look like if we reach "criticality" (an uncontrollable nuclear reaction), in pools, dry casks or in transportation?

Would it be possible to evacuate millions of people or shelter in place in the event of a nuclear accident?

Is there any reason that the purchased and approved Areva canisters could not have been used to relieve the dangerously overcrowded pools for the past three years?

Why wasn't it a priority for Edison to put nuclear waste into dry storage before decommissioning when it was possible to make us much safer all this time? 

If existing thick cask storage containers are not suitable for San Onofre due to size and weight constraints, is it worth considering designing smaller ones that contain fewer fuel assemblies but can be monitored, repairable and transportable by conventional modes of transportation that might travel inconspicuously like the military does frequently?

Wouldn't the cost of doing everything necessary to prevent a nuclear disaster at San Onofre be reasonable when compared to the billions of dollars being spent at the Hanford site or the trillions of dollars Japan is having to spend in futile efforts to clean up Fukushima?

Would there be reparations for those of us who might lose everything?

You made it to the end!