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Residents and business owners from all over over South Orange County packed the Pacific Ballroom at the St. Regis the Monarch Beach hotel in Dana Point last week. They were there to voice their opposition about the re-start of San Onofore Nuclear plant at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-run public meeting . Police Chief Lynn Koehmstedt estimated the crowd to be around 1,000. A panel of industry and governmental professionals as well as local advocates on both sides of the debate discussed whether or not to re-start the plant.
One local resident suggested that if the plant were not safe employees wouldn’t work there. I guess this guy knows nothing about human behavior. Employees will return to work in an unsafe environment because they need their paycheck, especially in this job environment. They just hope that things will be alright, sort of how Americans go about their daily lives, even though they see life around them crumbling, from lack of jobs, foreclosures, rising gas and food prices. Americans like sticking their heads in the sand waiting for someone else to fix their problems. I’m sure this guy is probably the same guy who thinks the FDA is making sure our food is safe too. But the majority of those in the audience who spoke were aware of the dangers of San Onofore and made sure the NRC knew they wanted it to remain closed.
The NRC called the public meeting because Edison recently submitted a re-start plan for Unit 2, which it plans to operate at 70 percent capacity for five months. It looks like the public won this battle though and the plant will remain closed for now. Elmo Collins, administrator for NRC Region IV, which oversees plant operation in California stated that a review of the action letter would be needed before any re-start plan is considered.
The next California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) meeting is October 25, 2012. Gary Headrick from San Clemente Greens says they will discuss the financial aspects concerning the future of San Onofre. If approved, ratepayers will be given protection from unwarranted expenses and a clear choice about investing in truly clean, safe and sustainable alternatives. The plant has been closed since January 2012 and even during the long heatwave we had no power outages or brownouts.
The meeting will be held 8:30 a.m., at Irvine City Hall, Council Chambers, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606. For more information contact gary at sanclementegreen dot org. (You know how to fix that one, right.)
A video of the meeting, will be available online at www.nrc.gov <http://www.nrc.gov>.