From: Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: re: SONGS: Please close these facilities
To Whom it may concern
In January 1985 NRC Commissioner James Asselstine leaked the Commission’s closed transcripts to the public of the Diablo Canyon licensing proceedings. Those leaked transcripts were explosive. They disclosed the fact that the NRC illegally licensed Diablo Canyon, failing to adjudicate post earthquake evacuation planning which the agency promised to do. The leaked transcripts went all the way to the US Supreme court on split decisions. The decision they made (Judge Robert Bork) was that it would not be appropriate for the court to review the content of the leaked transcripts because it would be an act of Judicial activism.
Thus the fact that the NRC failed to address emergency planning in licensing both SONGS and Diablo Canyon as stated in these transcripts should be seen as some of the most provocative information on the table in these days after Fukushima. Even more to the point is the fact that during these closed pre-licensing discussions, the NRC spent hours attempting to figure out how to wiggle out of their legal obligations, using off the record information from the utility company that said that the probability of an accident caused by an earthquake wasn’t likely!
It was in these transcripts, if our federal bench had been doing its job, would have reversed the NRC’s license for Diablo. But as stated in the transcripts, the NRC had also promised to address emergency planning for SONGS as well but hadn’t. And addressing this means formal investigations that would have shown that at the time, the would have been relying on insufficient information about the state of seismic history in California as well as the state of scientific understanding itself.
The World Nuclear Association has stated publicly that TEPCo had used sophisticated Probabalistic Risk Assessment (PRA)techniques in building the Fukushima Daiichi facilities, using historic information going back 1,000 years. When California’s reactors at SONG’s and Diablo were built, the utilities weren’t even willing to look back 75 years as in the case of Diablo Canyon being located on the Hosgri faultline that had a 6.3 quake in 1925 that nearly destroyed Santa Barbara, completed destroying the Sheffield dam just to the north of the city. We certainly know today that TEPCo did not build Fukushima strong enough to withstand the maximum credible quake. And the entire world has witnessed the devastating after effects of a region that would otherwise could have gone back home after the Tsunami to begin cleanup are still as of this date precluded from going back to their property to restart their lives.
The Bank of America as of this moment has estimated claims between $28-60 Billion from damages, and these are barely preliminary. They won’t include the cost of the cleanup and decommissioning the severely damaged facilities or replacement costs of electricity. The utility once one of the biggest in the world is on the brink of failure with loss of 77% of its stock value in the last two months. Place this on top of the costs of damaged agriculture productivity in the area as well as the modest industrial base that includes such globally known operations as the Kawasaki motorcycle company. This incident represents the danger of nothing short of an economic collapse to the region effected. The impacts will not fully be understood as can be seen with Chernobyl for decades after the accident. Costs will more than likely reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars. And this is in a region that is not nearly as heavily populated as the 50 mile zone around SONGS.
From the 1987 post Chernobyl Emergency Planning hearings for California, as ordered by the California Senate, it was disclosed as we are seeing now that people outside of the inner evacuation (here 10 miles) zone will be ordered to shelter. In those hearings it was disclosed by a mayor outside of the zone that the state planned on using the CHP to block all freeway ramps in the 10-50 zone to assure the safe departure of the most effected. However, there is absolutely no chance that there would even be a freeway system functioning so that people could depart, let alone the capacity to keep all freeways blocked in the midst of an earthquake that in this case isn’t located 100 miles from the reactor but could be centered less than 10 miles from the facility.
It has been made more than clear that the Fukushima PRA’s did not save northern Japan, nor should you buy into the same number crunching that suggest that such an event couldn’t go beyond the design basis of SONGS. The Oregon Tsunami clearinghouse has pointed out that tsunami’s on the west coast from a major Cascadia quake could go well beyond the 30 foot seawall at SONG’s. Furthermore anyone with eyes saw the tsunami go inland across very large areas and then come around and back to the coast, suggesting that a direct hit would not be necessary in terms of the danger of flooding at the facility.
And as recent information is just starting to come out that the quake itself played a far bigger role in the early meltdown of unit one, not just knocking out offsite power, but also very likely damaging the structural integrity of the facility as well.
There is no way to know when the next quake will come to Southern California. It is clear today that nobody in their right mind would ever consider building such facilities in the fault areas of California. Yet this has occurred. Japan recently ordered the closure of three nuclear facilities that had been disclosed as being close to seismic areas and in danger of doing to central Japan what has just happened to the north. Is the gamble that you may or may not be the victim of a similar devastating event worth gamble? Roll those dice.
Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse
San Francisco California
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