*  also  *
DROPS A BIG EGG (50,000 lbs)

June 2nd, 2001              A special report by Russell D. Hoffman
(Note: A small news report in the North County Times on June 4th, 2001 indicates this report is accurate: There was a crane drop. However, it was an 80,000 lb. "egg", dropped 40 feet, not a 50,000 lbs crane dropped 50 feet. Also they are saying the strap slipped off, but our sources are certain it broke. This report was based on an informed but very early on-site account.)


(1) Yucca Mountain dead? Let's hope so!  Also: San Onofre Drops a Big Egg; FOX NEWS report is biased and incomplete.
(2) Aussie Waste Site Proposal Information
(3) Beatty, Nevada Waste Site Information
(4) WIPP, New Mexico Information
(5) Yucca Mountain Article #1 sent in by Jack Shannon
(6) Yucca Mountain Article #2 sent in by ReCarDeaux
(7) NRC Report on February 3rd, 2001 fire at San Onofre
(8) NRC Report on April 11th, 2001 pole dropping incident
(9) Transcript of FOX NEWS6 San Diego report from June 1st, 2001
(10) This Newsletter's Author Contact Information

(1) >>>>> Yucca Mountain dead? Let's hope so!  Also: San Onofre Drops a Big Egg; FOX NEWS report is biased and incomplete. >>>>>

The building of a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain seems unlikely at this time, as reflected in the two articles shown below (items 5 and 6).  To create the Environmental Impact Statement for Yucca Mountain, 1,600 scientists were given an impossible task.  Not that they didn't look at every problem:  They did.  But Yucca Mountain is a last resort.  To turn down Yucca Mountain is to say that all other methods, which were each and every one studied by the scientists, are also failures.  Because part of what they were asked to do was vouch not only that Yucca Mountain was safe, but that it was the best choice available.

Yet it is still bad science.  Because even the best scientists cannot do the impossible.  They cannot safely and surely and permanently store our high-level nuclear waste.  In 10,000 years, if all goes well Yucca Mountain will be a smoldering, possibly volcanic, highly radioactive ruin.  Thousands of years from now, it will be reaching that state, unreachable by us should we think of something we would rather do with the waste.  After it has been sealed off, it will become untouchable.  It's a seriously hazardous idea -- fraught with danger.  And yet, it's the best that modern science could do.  All other choices seem horribly worse.  But this solution is no good either.

For one thing it does not properly account for insects and vermin moving the waste around over time and spreading it.  This type of dispersal of radioactive materials already happens elsewhere (e.g., at Hanford, WA) and it would assuredly happen at Yucca Mountain too.  The plan does not properly account for water which moves in great sheets through the rocks, horizontally, a few hundred feet underneath the site -- water which supplies major aquifers for millions of people.  The "science" of Yucca Mountain's proponent's does not properly account for the dangers of transporting the nuclear waste TO the site.  It does not properly account for the need to be able to get at the waste later in case we discover it was not properly disposed of the first time (Yucca Mountain is -- or was -- supposed to be a sealed repository.)

Yucca Mountain is unworkable.

But that's probably not why it might now be CANCELLED.  What probably mattered most is a force more powerful than scientific logic, because if that's what ruled the roost here in America and around the world, there wouldn't be ANY operating nukes anywhere on the planet!

No, it's not the bad science that's killing Yucca Mountain, and that's a shame, because it is bad science.  Instead, what might stop Yucca Mountain is the powerful forces against it -- basically, all of Nevada.  That includes the owners of many of the casinos and other business interests, as well as the Governor and all of Nevada's Senator's and Congressmen.  And you know who else doesn't want Yucca Mountain?  The nuclear plant operators!  They want access to their nuclear waste so that they can reprocess it, if anyone ever wants them to.  Besides, they don't really care because they expect to get paid either way (see below).

Without Yucca Mountain, there is no permanent repository for high level nuclear waste.  Without a permanent repository, even nuclear power's strongest proponents don't have a leg to stand on.  It's as simple as that.  Or should be.  But it isn't.

Yesterday (Friday, June 1st, 2001), a reliable contact told me that a 50,000 lb crane dropped 50 feet (because a strap broke) at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in Southern California, and meanwhile (the same day) FOX NEWS 6 at 10 pm (a local affiliate station's main nightly news show) is quoting a San Onofre employee who is claiming that their detractors (including, for example, a distinguished retired physicist they also quoted on the report) don't understand the laws of physics.

The fall of the crane (thankfully no one was injured) proves pretty clearly that the San Onofre employees are the ones who are having trouble with basic physics these days.  This might be the same crane operator and his team who will soon be moving the fuel into the dry fuel casks, which weigh (with their overpack) hundreds of thousands of pounds.  These might be the same people who regularly move nuclear fuel from the plant to the spent fuel pools.  Do you want any of these guys moving YOUR spent fuel casks?  Well they will be, soon, unless we prevent them from doing so.

Straps with 50,000 lb lifting capacities are normally carefully inspected regularly.  They are normally required to be replaced periodically or whenever a load puts excessive strain on them, either because it was heavier than expected for some reason or because the load is jerked around excessively, stressing the strap.  You don't just drop stuff!

San Onofre Unit III is the same place which had a fire last February, a few hours after being brought back online after a month-long refueling.  The fire burned for nearly three hours and kept the reactor offline until -- guess when?  It was in the process of being tested when this new accident happened.  I suppose the tests were stopped when the crane disrupted things.  (Note that the Fox News 6 report claims Unit III has come back online.  This is not true.  It is still in the process of being brought up to full power, and the NRC's daily report indicates Unit III is running at 18% power right now.)

The consequences of the fire included a release of radioactive products to the atmosphere, as slickly alluded to in this sentence from the third paragraph of the following NRC report (reproduced in full below):

"relieved steam to the atmosphere using the atmospheric relief valves"

The February 3rd, 2001 fire and atmospheric release was caused by a faulty circuit breaker.  Perhaps these are normal industrial accidents -- but a nuke plant isn't a normal industry.  Why don't such accidents raise concerns at the federal level about the possibility of accidents elsewhere at the plant?  What if the circuit breaker had run something more critical?  What if the football-field length turbine shaft had cracked or come off its bearings when it dry-stopped?  What if the crane had been moving nuclear fuel at the time, instead of another crane?  We came very close to vastly more serious accidents than what happened -- the alarm is being rung, but nobody is listening and FOX NEWS 6 certainly isn't reporting it.

As for as I know, and if Standard Operating Procedures are followed, no blame will ever be laid on any specific person, in either the fire incident or the crane incident.  No fines or meager fines at best will be assigned.  No operating permits will be revoked.

What do these two stories have in common?

The incompetence shown time and time again at San Onofre proves they are incapable of handling their power plant safely.  But frankly, NO ONE can be expected to handle a nuclear power plant safely.  If it was a coal or oil plant, these same accidents would be relatively uninteresting.  But nuclear power leaves little margin for error.  When a coal plant operator drops a crane, no one offsite is put at risk.  But a nuclear plant accident can render uninhabitable 10s of even hundreds of square miles around the plant for millions of years (as the waste spreads around the globe).  If they had accidentally dropped this crane into the spent fuel pool, and ruptured the liner on the bottom, causing the water to drain, this would have lead to a meltdown of the spent fuel, and an ecological catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.  In the current (June 1st, 2001) NRC report, at another nuclear power plant, a fireman dropped a pole used for reaching something that is hard to get at through the maze of tubes and wiring, and it landed on a circuit breaker, which caused a "half scram".  (See NRC clip, below).  Perhaps the problem is that no one with any common sense would work at a nuclear power plant unless they were desperate for work, or desperately uninformed about the dangers.

But now these incompetent klutzes are expected to safely handle -- because Yucca Mountain won't take it -- their long-term nuclear waste storage problems.  And they are expected to do this using something called "dry cask storage".

 Dry Cask Storage really is "hot, hot, hot" long-term storage.  It is very dangerous.  The fuel to be stored has just come out of the "spent fuel pools" where it sat for several years, after its (relatively brief) use in the nuclear power plant.  Thus it is going from an indoor high-level radioactive waste dump to an outdoor high-level radioactive waste dump.  Mini-Yucca Mountains, without the protective mountain and isolation around them.

The fuel has barely cooled to where it no longer needs pumped water circulating around it 24 hours a day, regardless of blackouts, brownouts, pump failures, pipe failures, valve failures, tank leakage, sabotage, earthquakes, fires, or 50,000 pound cranes falling on them (fortunately this crane, which was being moved by another crane, was apparently not in a nuclear fuel area).

These people are not competent enough to handle what they are already handling, but what they have recently been allowed to also handle -- dry cask storage -- is just as dangerous as the fuel in the nuclear reactor itself, or the waste in the spent fuel pool!  Because it can burn!  If there is a breach of the dry cask, and the zircalloy cladding of the fuel rods is breached or comes in contact with air, there will be a fire, explosion, meltdown, and a release of radioactive particulate matter into the atmosphere.

That's the REAL physics of the problem -- high-level nuclear waste (spent fuel) is actually the most deadly stuff on Earth, except for even more refined versions of it (like Plutonium 238 or Plutonium 239, which are extracted from nuclear power plant high-level radioactive waste).  The nuclear industry and the government have spent 40+ years trying to figure out what to do with this stuff.  And the best they can come up with is the most dangerous solution Southern California can suffer with.  Dry Cask Storage is insane.

The fuel CAN'T be safely stored anywhere, least of all near all the earthquake faults which criss-cross the area where San Onofre is located.  And not near any ocean, where a Tsunami could hit at any time, with little or no warning -- but San Onofre is only about 200 feet inland from the Pacific Coast, surrounded by some of the most expensive and geologically unstable land in the world -- San Diego and Orange Counties.  Salt-water spray will degrade the cement outer layers of the casks.  Radioactive decay heat (gamma radiation and some neutron radiation) emanating from the inside of the casks themselves will further decay the containers.  No one considers them permanent storage units.  They are too dangerous.

The Casks can't be safely stored away from terrorists, or clumsy crane operators who can't calculate the strength of a strap to carry a load.  It can't be safely stored away from fires which could gut the plant, start a meltdown, and make the entire area unreachable.  The spent-fuel pools need continuous water and power for the circulating pumps, and regular maintenance of the pumps to prevent a meltdown.  And all this happens OUTSIDE OF THE CONTAINMENT BUILDING.

AND the spent fuel certainly shouldn't be entrusted to people who make such disingenuous comments as were made on FOX NEWS 6 yesterday by a San Onofre employee in their public relations department, comments which are designed to be a slap in the face to all their detractors, saying that those who oppose onsite Dry Cask Storage "don't understand the laws of physics".

In the report they said that Dry Cask Storage is already being done at twelve other sites around the country.  But a dozen wrongs doesn't make a right.   Dry Fuel Casks are susceptible to fire, sabotage, earthquakes, Tsunamis, shoddy construction, or airplanes falling onto them. San Onofre is directly under a major route for planes and helicopters, a few hundred feet from a busy rail line and a major highway.  A military live-fire zone, where ships and planes drop 500-lb bombs for practice, is just a few miles away.  The Dry Fuel Casks are NOT strong enough to withstand the impact of even a small plane barreling in (for whatever reason) from above!

For its part FOX NEWS 6 did a terrible job (the full transcript appears below).  They did quote a local activist, Patricia Borchmann, briefly, but did not let her actually express why these things are so dangerous.  FOX NEWS 6 did not mention the crane incident.  The report was the lead-off report on the 10:00 pm news, so there was plenty of time to add the news item.  Instead they mentioned the February fire and stated that the Unit was being brought back online and would serve "a million homes" with electricity.

Although it was the lead item and Fox claimed their report on the Dry Cask Storage was a Fox exclusive, Fox news's web site doesn't have any links on the topic:

Fox perhaps should be acknowledged for having reported on the Dry Cask Storage at all and the opposition to it.  But it was nevertheless biased reporting.  It is unlikely that anyone watching the show will realize the dangers we are facing, let alone the criminal acts which permit these dangers to occur.  Furthermore, the "physics lesson" SONGS got that same day should have been reported as well (I consider my source very reliable, although I have no confirming information yet).

But it gets worse. Unmentioned in the news report, is the fact that just because we can't store the waste at Yucca Mountain doesn't mean we can simply leave it at the nuclear reactor sites.  We promised, you see, to remove it.


"The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled August 31, 2000, that nuclear power companies can sue DOE for missing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act's 1998 deadline for beginning to remove nuclear spent fuel from reactor sites. The three utilities that brought the suit are seeking $2.4 billion in damages. Industry officials contended after the ruling that total damage awards could eventually reach tens of billions of dollars."

They have no right to sue.  They knew when they built the reactors that there was no solution to the waste problem but they went ahead anyway.  The Nuclear Waste Policy Act came later.

San Onofre and all the other nuclear poison plants must be shut down immediately.  Its spent and partially spent nuclear fuel should be stored at the homes of the officers of the companies that built it, ran it, promoted it, and got rich off it.

Scientists know that there is no such thing as a safe long-term nuclear waste repository.  NO SUCH THING.  This is an unassailable fact, but politicians and nuclear advocates worldwide continue to ignore it.

Someone better tell the Aussies (see first item, below).  And the Russians, who recently announced a desire to become the world's nuclear repository.  And the British, who have been grinding up reactors and dumping large portions of them into the sea at Sellafield, and the French, who are learning that their reactors' waste is no easier to deal with than ours (and their safety record is equally appalling).  Someone better stop the Nuclear Mafia from creating more of this stuff!  George W. Bush wants to start by extending the licenses of the reactors we have now, which should ALL be shut down instead.  Their metals are old and brittle.  Their cranes' straps are weakened and stretched and damaged.  Their operators are incompetent, if only for being human.  Their spokespersons are liars.  And nuclear power plants release radioactive contaminants to air and water whenever they operate (up to the "allowable limits", which are set to allow them to operate -- NO T to protect public health!), as well as creating plutonium.

But Bush wants to double the number of nuclear power plants!  Not just keep the one's we've got, but build a hundred new ones!

There are clean alternatives, and an immediate switch must be made to these energy sources.  Wind power right now is the cheapest form of electricity available.  Yet right now wind supplies only around 1% of California's energy needs, a state which has vast wind energy resources.  It's time for a change.


Russell D. Hoffman

Recent articles by rdh are available at:

NRC web site on Dry Cask Storage:

An alternate viewpoint on Dry Cask Storage:
Start here for a no-nukes tutorial:

Another view on Dry Cask Storage:


Australia wants a repository, too:


Low-level Waste Repository for Australia, Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper # 55, March 2000

Where it comes from:
"While Australia has no nuclear power producing electricity, it does have well-developed usage of radioisotopes in medicine and industry. Many of these isotopes are produced in the research reactor at Lucas Heights, near Sydney."

"When the final precise site in the Woomera area of South Australia is decided, the disposal area of the repository will be about 100 metres square, with long trenches up to 20 metres deep. It will be set in a 2.25 square kilometre buffer zone. If the category S wastes are co-located, their secure building with concrete vaults would comfortably fit in the same area."

Uranium Information Centre Ltd
A.C.N. 005 503 828
GPO Box 1649N, Melbourne 3001, Australia
phone (03) 9629 7744
fax (03) 9629 7207
E-mail :


More information about Australia's search for a repository for its nuclear waste:


25 miles from Yucca Mountain is Beatty, Nevada, site of a notorious "low level" nuclear waste dump.  Here's an article about Beatty, which is currently "closed", which merely means it's not accepting new waste, but is nevertheless still leaking what it has into the environment:

Please see my own Stop Cassini newsletter #122 for additional information about Beatty, Nevada:

-- rdh



There's a low-level repository in New Mexico (called WIPP), which is called a "pilot project" but is actually an attempt at permanent storage of nuclear waste (which will fail, because like Yucca Mountain, it is based on biased "science").  It opened in 1999.  We need to shut it down too!

The theory on WIPP is this:


"Housed in thick salt beds 2,150 feet below the surface, the waste will eventually be trapped as the salt walls will collapse and encapsulate it."

[[[ The problems start from the fact that the waste will be radioactive for millions of years, and no one knows a thing about the geological activities that will take place in that area for that length of time.  Or is 2,150 feet deep enough to protect us from asteroid impacts, too? -- rdh ]]]



Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 08:34:10 EDT
Subject: Fwd: former Department of Energy official  - Yucca should be put in mothballs
To:,,,, (Beth Hills),,,,,,

From: "Scott D. Portzline" <>
To: "nukenet" <>
Subject: former Department of Energy official  - Yucca should be put in mothballs
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 19:08:52 -0400

Wednesday May 30 6:26 PM ET
Nevada Nuke Dump Support Withdrawn

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A former Department of Energy (news - web sites) official
who drafted a proposal to make Nevada's Yucca Mountain a nuclear waste
disposal site is withdrawing his support for the project.

W. Kenneth Davis, undersecretary from 1981 to 1983 during the Reagan
administration, sent an unsolicited letter to the White House saying that
the site won't be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

``In my opinion, (it) should be put in mothballs,'' Davis wrote in a
three-page memorandum. Last week, President Bush (news - web sites) called
for a national nuclear waste repository as part of his energy plan.

Since 1987, Yucca Mountain has been the only site studied to become the
graveyard for the nation's 77,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level
radioactive research waste.

But Davis said that Yucca Mountain can't overcome Nevada's strong opposition
to transporting and storing the waste 1,000 feet beneath a wind-swept ridge,
90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

``At Yucca Mountain, you are going to run into a hailstorm of protest over
shipping,'' he said in Wednesday's editions of the Las Vegas Sun.

Gov. Kenny Guinn, all four members of Nevada's bipartisan congressional
delegation and Las Vegas business and casino interests oppose the Yucca
Mountain plan. The state Legislature is considering allocating $4 million
for a public relations campaign and legal fight.

Davis cited the potential for water and radiation to escape Yucca Mountain
and said burying nuclear wastes in a permanent repository was never intended
when he authored the policy.



Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 00:20:37 EDT
Subject: Fwd: Yucca Mounain dead

Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 19:01:37 -0700
From: Roger Herried <> (by way of Don Eichelberger <>)
Subject: Yucca Mountain dead

Can we say "whoopee" yet?


>This was a short in the L.A. Times today (June 1) in sec. A -page 16 (?)
>Nuke Waste Storage Site Is 'Dead,' Daschle Says
>From Times Wire Reports
>     Nevada got a boost in its fight to keep nuclear waste from being
>stored at Yucca Mountain when the incoming Senate majority leader put up a
>formidable roadblock.
>     "I think the Yucca Mountain issue is dead," Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)
>said after arriving in Las Vegas. "As long as we're in the majority, it's
>     Since 1987, Yucca Mountain has been the only site studied to become
>the graveyard for 77,000 tons of the nation's spent nuclear fuel and
>high-level research waste.
>     The state's bipartisan congressional delegation, state and city
>leaders and the gambling industry are opposed to the site, which is 90
>miles from Las Vegas.
Roger Herried

Abalone Alliance Staffperson
Abalone Alliance/energy-net webmaster

When asked by a British Newsman what he thought of Western Civilization.

Mahatma Ghandi replied:  "I think it would be a good idea"


(7) >>>>> Feb 6th, 2001 NRC Report on February 3rd, 2001 fire at San Onofre: >>>>>

PNO-IV-01-004 - Southern California Edison

February 06, 2001


This preliminary notification constitutes EARLY notice of events of POSSIBLE safety or public interest significance. The information is as initially received without verification or evaluation, and is basically all that is known by the Region IV staff on this date.
Facility __ Licensee Emergency Classification
Southern California Edison X Notification of Unusual Event
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 3

__ Alert
Docket: 50-362 __ Site Area Emergency
License No.: NPF-15 __ General Emergency
Texas Licensee __ Not Applicable

Subject: Circuit Breaker Failure and Fire, Resulting in Reactor Shutdown


On Friday, February 2, 2001, San Onofre Unit 3 began a startup at the end of a refueling outage. Unit 2 operated at full power and remained at full power through the Unit 3 transient.

On Saturday, February 3, at 3:14 p.m. PST, with the Unit 3 reactor at approximately 39 percent power, a nonsafety-related 4160V switchgear in the turbine building switchgear room failed catastrophically, resulting in a fire in the switchgear, a loss of all nonsafety-related 4160V electric power, and a turbine trip in Unit 3. The licensee stated that an automatic reactor trip was initiated by the reactor protection system.

Plant staff saw smoke and flames in the switchgear. At 3:27 p.m., operators declared an Unusual Event because of a fire expected to last more than 15 minutes. The fire department responded and extinguished the fire by 3:44 p.m. The fire affected other nonsafety busses in the switchgear room. As designed, the safety-related and some of the nonsafety-related loads transferred to Unit 2 power sources, and the Unit 3 emergency diesel generators started but did not load, since the Unit 2 power supplied the safety busses. As a result of the transfers, all emergency core cooling systems remained available and the reactor coolant pumps continued to run. Because of the lack of available power, feedwater was unavailable and circulating water was lost, resulting in a loss of condenser vacuum. Operators manually initiated emergency feedwater before the automatic initiation setpoint occurred and stabilized the plant at normal operating temperature and pressure. The operators continued to use the steam generators to remove heat from the reactor coolant system and relieved steam to the atmosphere using the atmospheric relief valves. The transient also caused a loss of control room annunciators for 16 minutes. Operators were able to monitor plant conditions using instruments available in the control room.

Operators stabilized the plant in Hot Standby, declared the fire out at 3:44 p.m., and exited the Unusual Event at 4:20 p.m. Operators placed the plant in Cold Shutdown around midnight on February 4, with shutdown cooling in service. The licensee continues to assess the effects of the fire and transient.

The resident inspectors were onsite during the event and continuously monitored licensee actions until operators placed the plant in Cold Shutdown. A Special Inspection Team has been dispatched to the site to evaluate licensee efforts to determine the cause of the transient. The Team will also monitor licensee actions to correct degraded conditions.

The state of California has been informed.

This information has been discussed with the licensee and is current as of February 6, 2001.
CONTACTS: Charles Marschall
(817) 860-8185
Wayne Sifre
(817) 860-8193

[[[ Pamela Blockey-O'Brien talked to Charles Marschall,who said the release was within limits. -- rdh ]]]


(8) >>>>> NRC Report on April 11, 2001 pole dropping incident: >>>>>

A comedy of terrors in Hope Creek, New Jersey.  This was in the daily report for today.  (The crane dropping incident was not reported.  We are trying to find it.):


"Fire Protection Operators were performing testing of the smoke detectors in
the RPS motor-generator (MG) set room using a test pole. When the Fire
Protection Operator in the overhead was handing the test pole to the Fire
Protection Operator on the floor, the pole slipped and struck breaker switch
for H1SB-1AN410 (A RPS EPA breaker), causing the breaker to open. Opening of
the breaker lead to the loss of the 'A' RPS bus.

"After determining that no damage occurred to breaker H1SB-1AN410, the 'A'
RPS was restored to the normal power source.

"The impact on the plant safety from this event was minimal.  The isolations
and equipment losses during the event caused only a minor plant transient
and the equipment performed as expected. After the plant was stabilized and
the cause of the loss of the 'A' RPS was identified, the half scram was


[[[ A "half scram", although considered "routine" by the industry, is in fact a fairly serious incident, requiring the use of one or more layers of the so-called backup systems available to a reactor.  (It is the activation of one of the two trains of associated low-water sensors.) -- rdh ]]]

(9) >>>>> Transcript of FOX NEWS 6 San Diego report from June 1st, 2001 >>>>>

Text on screen: Rational fear or Irrational fears? 

Unknown speaker: 
"How could anyone consider putting a thing like that in the middle of a huge population? If the radioactive materials escape from that containment the situation would be essentially unrecoverable.  It's accessible to any twit with a rocket launcher. It's accessible to all kinds of people who have some ax to grind."

Kelly Krapf  Greg Phillips
Fox 6 News

"It's a plan to store tons of nuclear waste, but some believe the proposal puts you and you family at risk.  Good evening everyone, I'm Kelly Krapf -- "

Phillips: "And I'm Greg Phillips, thanks for joining us.  The controversial plan has been kept a secret until now.  San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is running out of places to store the nuclear waste it generates.  So plant managers have come up with a solution.  Critics say that solution is dangerous.  Fox News 6 reporter Nancy Aziz has the exclusive story you'll see first on Fox 6."

Aziz: "Between the Pacific Ocean and I-5, the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant silently generates electricity.  Twenty miles away in Vista, Patricia Borchmann generates a lot of paper in her battle against the plants."

Borchman: "The more I learned, the scarier it gets."

Aziz: "Borchmann is petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, trying to stop the plant from storing nuclear waste in what are called dry casks.  She say's it's dangerous.  She is not alone."

Dr. Norman Dessel: "The mere fact that someone has even considered storing it [the waste this way] tells me that there is a disturbed mind at work.  It's that bad."

Aziz: "Retired physics professor Dr. Norman Dessel says storing the spent fuel in above-ground containers leaves them vulnerable to earthquakes and terrorism.  He says excessive shaking could cause a dangerous chain reaction."

Dessell:  "As terrible as a hundred nuclear reactors blowing up simultaneously.  So we're not talking about a Sunday School picnic firecracker here."

Ray Golden, SONGS: "They're completely misinformed and they don't understand the laws of physics.  It's physically impossible for a chain reaction to reoccur in the fuel."

Aziz: "Plant spokesman Ray Golden says the nuclear waste would be safe.  Encased in several feet of steel, then covered in concrete.  He points out the technology is being used safely at more than a dozen other plants around the country.  While San Onofre waits on the necessary permits.--"

(dialing heard)

"Borchmann keeps up the heat, trying to derail the plans before they ever get of the ground.  Nancy Aziz, Fox 6 news."

Phillips: "Four months after a fire shut it down, the Unit III reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is back online.  Unit III is capable of producing up to -- powering, rather, up to a million homes.  It's been down since early February, when fire triggered an automatic shutdown of the reactor.  The fire was caused by a faulty circuit breaker."

Krapf: "If your neighborhood is about to be unplugged, you'll now be getting a warning.  Staring this month, you'll see a circuit number and a block number in bold print, right in the middle of your SDG&E bills.  The numbers represent neighborhoods where the power will be shut off when reserves get too low.  Once you know the numbers, check the SDG&E web site, or watch local news to find out which areas will be blacked out."

SDG&E Spokesperson: "We think this is a very valuable tool for our customers.  You know, regrettably, it looks as if there will be rolling blackouts this summer, and, uh, this is a tool at least to give our customers some information to help them prepare for these blackouts."

[[[ Then they talked about an energy rebate program, briefly, showing Gray Davis shaking hands with some navy personnel. -- rdh ]]]

<<<<< END OF TRANSCRIPT (transcription by rdh) <<<<<

[[[ The energy crises is entirely phoney.  Renewables and conservation, if implemented quickly and widely, would allow us to close the nukes and not have any blackouts.  THERE IS NO ENERGY CRISES!  Here's an article about the alternatives:

-- rdh ]]]


Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA
Thanks to Pamela Blockey-O'Brien for her assistance in this report.


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First posted June 3rd, 2001.

Last modified June 5th, 2001. (Half-scram description updated.)

Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman