FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Oct. 27, 2014
CONTACT: Roger Johnson, SCNJ66@yahoo.com, (949-218-1337)
The Darrell Issa Nuclear Waste Dump
Poll respondents strongly favor naming the nuclear waste dump at San Onofre after Congressman Issa
California Congressional District 49 has become the home of a large nuclear waste dump thanks to a decision of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Aug. 26 which mandates that high-level nuclear waste at San Onofre (and other nuclear power plants) be stored on-site indefinitely. The order reversed the government promise to remove the waste and take it to a safer storage location.
This curious turn of events has alarmed residents of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties and resulted in a public opinion poll on selecting an appropriate name for the new waste dump. An on-line survey was started Oct. 2 and conducted by Survey Monkey. After 25 days, the overwhelming choice (92% of respondents) is to call it The Darrell Issa Nuclear Waste Dump.
The other choices in the survey included The San Clemente Nuclear Waste Dump (the site shares the same Zip Code 92672 as downtown San Clemente) and The Camp Pendleton Nuclear Waste Dump (the site is owned by the U.S. Navy and is part of Marine Base Camp Pendleton). As of Oct. 27 the results were:
- 91.54% The Darrell Issa Nuclear Waste Dump
- 5.51% The Camp Pendleton Nuclear Waste Dump
- 2.94% The San Clemente Nuclear Waste Dump
The results probably reflect the fact that Congressman Issa has had nothing to say about having a nuclear waste dump located squarely in the middle of his District 49. The Congressman has not attended any of the many hearings on this issue and he has done nothing or said nothing to oppose it. He has stated that he wanted to have the reactors still operating and still producing more waste and that it was a big mistake to close the plant. His opponent in the current election, Dave Peiser, says he strongly opposes the nuclear waste dump.
Although the nuclear power plant is now closed in the sense that it no longer generates electricity, it is very much alive with thousands of tons of highly-radioactive uranium and plutonium. The plant has been generating this waste since 1968. It is now stored in pools of water and in thin canisters of stainless steel surrounded by concrete. This waste is considered so dangerous that no facility in the country will accept it for storage. No technology has been found to store it safely for hundreds of thousands of years or even tens of thousands of years so it will remain here. The storage casks are licensed for only 20 years and no one knows how long they will last before they crack or suffer from stress fractures. There is no early warning monitoring system and no technology for inspecting or repairing them if they do leak. Hundreds of casks will remain stacked on site indefinitely above ground on concrete pads a few hundred feet from I-5 on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.
Since no solution has been found for how to store nuclear waste, the NRC has decreed the same “generic” plan for all nuclear power plants in the country. This is particularly unfortunate for Southern California because the waste here will rest in an earthquake and tsunami zone between two major metropolitan areas.
Being near the ocean and close to public highways, it is also highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The National Academy of Sciences has studied this problem (Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage: Public Report, 2006, National Academy of Sciences, http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11263) and concluded that the fuel pools and casks could be severely damaged by civilian aircraft, missiles, truck bombs, or high-energy weapons. The facility was never designed to resist such attacks and the NRC does not require that plants defend themselves against this kind of terrorism. The National Academy of Sciences states that no cask provides complete protection, and accidents could cause highly-radioactive plumes which might travel hundreds of miles.
Survey Monkey is the world’s largest cloud-based survey service. It is a useful polling tool in the sense that results cannot be manipulated and no one can vote twice. It is not a scientific poll in the sense that large numbers of respondents are randomly selected in order to obtain a low margin of error. It is similar to the polling devices used by most political candidates. The results change daily, and one can vote by following this link: