Monday, May 16, 2011

SHUT DOWN SAN ONOFRE NOW! Petition, debate, video, hearing...

May 16th, 2011

Dear Readers,

The San Clemente Common Council has placed the issue of the dangers presented by San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on its agenda for tomorrow night (May 17th, 2011). San Clemente is the nearest city to the power plant. Citizens will be given about 8 minutes to make a formal presentation, then additional time for comments. Below is a link to a proposed resolution.

I've created a video of the April 28th, 2011 Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing in San Juan Capistrano, California. The URL is below.

Also shown below is a debate between myself and a 25-year former employee of San Onofre, a whistleblower who has appeared at several public hearings (and in my videos of those hearings).


Ace Hoffman Carlsbad, CA ---------------------------------------------- Today's items:

(1) Video of NRC hearing April 28th, 2011 in San Juan Capistrano, CA (URL) (2) A debate between a 25-year SONGS employee/whistleblower and Ace Hoffman... (3) A proposed Resolution by the people of San Clemente (URL) (4) UCBerkeley Dept. of Nuclear Engineering food chain sampling in California (URL) (5) Contact information for the author of this newsletter

------------------------------------------ (1) Video of NRC hearing April 28th, 2011 in San Juan Capistrano, CA: ------------------------------------------

This video, which I posted today, runs a little under 20 minutes and shows how a civilized country discusses nuclear power -- and accomplishes nothing:

Those appearing include representatives from the plant's regulators and operators, as well as local citizens Gary Headrick, Steve Netherby, Gene Stone, Nancy Nolan, myself and others.

Both my books about nuclear power, which I mention in the video and one of which I handed out for the first time at the hearing, are available for free download from my web site:

------------------------------------------ (2) A debate between a 25-year SONGS employee/whistleblower and Ace Hoffman... ------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: Estimate of total amount of spent fuel at SONGS...

May 15, 2011

Rick, all,

It's good that we agree on the essential outcome -- that San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station should be shut down.

It seems that the crux of our disagreement is whether SONGS should remain open until all of the spent fuel is removed from the site -- but to where, no one knows.

If we do as you suggest -- keep San Onofre running -- I better not be right about the dangers.

So, we better ignore the numerous similarities between San Onofre and Fukushima, ignore the dangers you yourself described in public hearings, and ignore everything anyone else has ever written condemning nuclear power in general or San Onofre in particular.

We must ignore long lists of infractions and falsifications in the decades before the current debacle, in order to pretend that once the NRC cleans things up THIS TIME at San Onofre, Southern California Edison won't become complacent or dishonest again.

San Onofre has had its share of near-misses. Everyone ignored them. Now we know what might have really happened, but we must continue to ignore them anyway.

We have already ignored Chernobyl, always saying that couldn't happen with "Western" style light water reactors. Oops. But let's ignore that, too.

We must ignore the recent estimate that, if we actually had the nuclear-powered energy-based economy nuclear enthusiasts envision, we would be experiencing multiple Fukushima tragedies every year.

If we keep the old plants running, we will be very lucky indeed to go 25 years -- as we almost did (but not quite) between Chernobyl and Fukushima -- without another meltdown, or cascade of meltdowns.

TEPCO lied. People died. SCE lied. They got their wrists slapped by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and were told to keep lying to the public -- we'll even help you with that -- but don't lie to us. At least, not so often. Please. But we love you, you're as safe as a baby in baby carriage. Quoth the NRC to SCE. I don't happen to believe it.

If we do it my way instead of yours, we turn to renewable energy regardless of whether nuclear power might have been marginally better economically -- which you would be very hard-pressed to prove -- and magically safe, which I contend is impossible for you to prove.

In other words, if we choose renewable energy and could have chosen nuclear power instead, oh well. Little damage is done. The truth can always be told. We don't need annual or semi-annual public hearings about the safety of our energy source, with permanent on-site federal inspectors who can't even maintain control after 14,000 hours of inspections last year alone -- 366% above normal and still the place rots from within. We don't need any of that.

If we switch to renewables, but you were right and I was wrong, we might some day realize we could have saved a little money achieving the same thing -- energy independence -- with "clean, safe nuclear power", which never had another accident anywhere, especially not at an American reactor, ever, after Cherno-- sorry, after Fukushima -- and we would regret spending a little more on energy and/or conservation than the absolute minimum we could have spent, which, you are telling me, is achievable only by continuing to run San Onofre which, you are telling me, is perfectly safe because it's run by humans who can fix everything that goes wrong when the earthquake, tsunami, faulty wiring and come-out-of-the-closet employee-based terrorism all happen at once.

I don't believe it.

Nevertheless, it is precisely because of your experience inside the industry that your concerns about the potential impact of a natural disaster or a careless worker are so chilling.

It's also true that you would not have reached out to the public, would not have attempted to rectify your issues with San Onofre through the legal system, would not even have contacted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if you thought San Onofre's management were capable of solving the problems you brought to their attention first.

They've failed four different ways to solve your issues, yet I'm to trust your assertion that San Onofre can, and will, fix EVERY issue? Every whistleblower's warning? Every expert's assessment of 100-foot and 200-foot tsunami wave's can be ignored? Every allegation I've made is inconsequential, never mind that it's been proven right already, and that can't be debated anymore?

I'm to trust San Onofre, when I've seen no evidence of anything positive -- they are right that the sea wall it high enough. That a previously-unknown fault doesn't run right under the plant. That no nearby fault can produce an earthquake larger than the "design basis" earthquake. That every part has not rusted away or embrittled (hardened) over the decades of use, to where a little extra shaking -- not a lot -- will break it, and in truth, the plant can't even survive a design-basis event?

I'm to believe that unlike TEPCO, Edison International is an honest conglomerate, and wouldn't suffer a meltdown or two, and then not tell anyone for two months.

You are not the first, the last, or the only whistleblower from San Onofre, let alone from the nuclear industry, to come forward. Nor are your stories the most chilling we've ever heard, chilling though they are.

Other 25+ year San Onofre veteran employees have also -- like you -- talked to us. Have also, like you, come out of the U.S. military nuclear programs (Los Alamos, for example) before working at San Onofre for several decades.

In making my own judgement that San Onofre should be shut immediately, your voice is one in a din of voices everyone should listen to, including yourself. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission tries to silence the dissenters, placate them, calm them, and then ignore them. I wish to amplify, investigate, remember and honor them. And act on what they say.

This story is BIG. This is NOT merely reasonable people agreeing to disagree about how a fly ball was caught. San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station has its jackboot on our throats as we speak.

It is killing us, as well as our neighbors, our friends, our families. Our pets, our livestock, our fauna, our flora. It is threatening mass devastation.

Around Fukushima, fetuses will be spontaneously aborted, infants will be born deformed, cancer rates will zoom, mothers will cry, children in pain will ask why. Fathers will head off to work at the plant, to die. All this is already happening.

Right now they are culling the livestock around Fukushima. Hundreds of thousands of horses, cows, pigs, goats, and sheep, and millions of chickens and turkeys. They are "destroying" all those that haven't died already of starvation, dehydration, radiation or exhaustion. None of the animals know to run from radiation. Thanks to TEPCO's lies, the people didn't know, either.

Daily nuclear releases from commercial reactors DO kill, and they ARE large. Such releases are dwarfed only by things like nuclear weapons testing, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and, most of all (we now know...) by Fukushima.

San Onofre is highly vulnerable to mother nature, human frailty, terrorism, and errors in judgement. Fukushima is a tragedy for all of northern Japan and the whole world, not just a 10-mile area. The spectrum of isotopes being released have half-lives from fractions of a second to thousands of millennia. All are highly carcinogenic in minute amounts, and all are being released continuously in massive quantities. Criticality events may still be occurring or might occur again at any time. Radioactive steam and water continues to be released. The groundwater, the sewage system, the seas... everything is being poisoned as we speak.

Worse than that, if there's an expert here who can help them, they shouldn't be talking to me! So I assume you feel helpless as to what to do next. Make a note of that in your arguments for continuing to operate SONGS. That all you could do in Fukushima if you were there now is to suit up, run in, turn a valve a few revolutions or attach a pipe or something, absorb your maximum permissible dose, and run out.

In Japan they are carefully keeping the workers at around 150 mSv and suddenly are allowing a lifetime exposure of 250 mSv, 150 mSv higher than the previous Japanese worker's limit (which was twice our own) just so that those workers can continue to work in the nuclear industry afterwards.

Smart thinking? No: It's purely criminal!

But you say we merely respectfully disagree. I say the playing field in not level. San Onofre remains open.

Many of the workers who will be needed at Fukushima will die from their exposures, assuming the "LNT" (Linear, No Threshold) dose model is correct.

But perhaps they have received a healthful dose of "sunshine vitamins" if Bernard Cohen and anyone else who believes in "Hormesis" (that a little radiation, no matter how much you have received previously in your life, is always good for you) is correct! I don't know where you stand on that, but I do confess, I have become curious...

As long as any nuclear power plant is running, it is especially vulnerable to consequences not unlike Fukushima, and perhaps far worse. A jetliner smashing through the dry cask field at San Onofre would probably be worse than Fukushima, for instance.

A jetliner smashing into the containment domes would be devastating -- they aren't nearly as strong as they look to most people. After all, they were built specifically to withstand hydrogen explosions from within non unlike the ones we've been seeing at Fukushima (especially Unit 3's explosion), and they probably can't even do that very well. At any rate, they certainly were NOT designed to withstand an airplane strike, and CANNOT do that very well. This was firmly established and admitted soon after 9-11. The "solution" was that the newly-formed Transportation Safety Agency would be perfect all the time. In case you wonder why TSA is so intrusive...

The greatest levels of vulnerability can be reduced substantially and instantly by shutting the reactors down. Nothing else can remove that much risk so easily.

It was the running reactors that caused virtually ALL the problems at Fukushima, with the exception of the spent fuel pool at unit four, which appears to have been neglected, and then damaged by the explosion at unit three. And Unit 4's main problem was that the fuel was still extremely "hot" having been removed from the reactor fairly recently when the reactor was shut down for maintenance.

The devastation from Fukushima probably wouldn't have happened if the reactors had been shut down for even a few months prior to March 11th, 2011. But they weren't. We have the chance to do that here, and, perhaps, thus save SoCal.

Removing all of the spent fuel from the site BEFORE shutting down the reactors, as you suggest we should do -- aside from being impossible -- is putting the cart before the horse. It substantially increases the risk to all seven+ million of us who live and breath in SoCal, and millions more around the world.

After all: Are you saying Fukushima did not have wonderful engineers and builders and designers also? Were they good enough or weren't they? Were they your equals or weren't they? Are you claiming to be super-human, as they thought they were? As everyone in the nuclear industry MUST think? The rest of us make mistakes. We also accept overwhelming evidence as fact.

Fukushima does not just show us that nuclear accidents can and will happen -- triggered one way or another. It also shows us that besides the meltdown itself, many other things are tragically inadequate about nuclear power:

I'm referring to evacuation plans. They only go out to 10 miles, or sometimes 12. It would be more appropriate if they went out 50 or 100 miles, or maybe 500 miles.

I'm referring to the ignorance of the media, the public, our government employees, and the so-called "experts".

I'm referring to honesty from management after the accident starts (let alone, today). It looks like Fukushima Unit 1 was a core-meltdown from the get-go. No wonder Americans 50 miles out were told to evacuate, and the Ronald Reagan high-tailed it away as fast as its jobs-training-program-for-SONGS-reactors could haul it (which, in reality, is no faster than a conventional carrier can go. One should note, during war, for protection, the carriers must stay deep within the fleet, which can only travel at the speed of the slowest vessel).

SONGS-era technology has sunk Japan. Surely you are not claiming that Fukushima's Boiling Water Reactors are the problem since they are not Pressurized Water Reactors? Surely that's not what makes ours safe instead? Do you think the public would buy that excuse, especially considering the higher pressures a PWR operates at, and thus, the extra stresses involved throughout the system in the name of "efficiency"? I can't think of any significant difference, really.

After rereading your letters, I ask: What do we really disagree on? Is it the statistical chance of an airplane landing on a dry cask? Is it the total havoc such an event would create? Is it the epidemiological reasons to think such catastrophic events would kill X number of people, versus Y? I'm not sure.

As far as I can tell, the only thing we actually disagree on is the order of events for shut down. In my opinion, shutting down the plants immediately would hardly mean getting rid of the workforce. True, some would become wind turbine installers and so on, but many people would have to remain at the site for years or decades, at least until all the spent fuel is removed (somewhere!?!).

Shutting down the plant gives the fuel a chance to cool and stops the ever-growing collection of used nuclear "piles".

We are more than 65 years into nuclear technology. There's a perfectly sound reason the nuclear waste problem hasn't been solved yet: Ionizing radiation destroys its containers. Shipping the radioactive waste anywhere on earth doesn't really solve the problem. Certainly putting it in an earthquake-prone hole, as you suggest, doesn't solve the problem, either. Magic materials, let alone cost-effective magic materials don't exist. With your experience, you should know prohibitive costs constantly prevent you from using all sorts of materials that would actually work a lot better than steel and cement for containment of radionuclides -- gold, for instance, though I hear iridium would be even better (and vastly more expensive).

Society thinks its nuclear engineers have actually engineered real solutions to the problems associated with nuclear energy. It's simply not true. What we are really doing is playing Russian Roulette with everyone's lives.

Fukushima changed everything except, I suppose, the nuclear industry's thinking.


Ace Hoffman Carlsbad, CA


At 08:25 PM 5/14/2011 -0700, "Rick Busnardo" rbusnardo wrote: >Ace > > >Thank you for your response. Reasonable people can agree to disagree . Please don’t belittle my time actually working in a nuclear power plant . By the way I worked for Diablo , Canyon Nuclear Power plant for PG&E and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories in 1973 for the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) . Please do not presume that I do not know what I am talking about we can respectfully disagree. I have been to Yucca Mountain and there is no other viable solution at this time. I WISH THERE WAS. As I have said the ship has sailed (SONGS) I understand why you wish it was never there but it is and in the interests of the community it is simple. I my expert opinion it is safer having a fully staffed nuclear power plant as long as there is spent fuel on the site. Make the plant as safe as possible , get rid of the fuel then close down the plant. Rick Busnardo > >From: Ace Hoffman >Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 7:52 PM >To: rbusnardo >Cc: Gary Headrick ; Ace Hoffman ; Mike Mason >Subject: Re: Estimate of total amount of spent fuel at SONGS... > >5/14/11 > >Hi Rick, > >For at least ten years longer than you've worked at SONGS, I've been studying nuclear issues, too. Please don't belittle my time buried in technical books, talking to experts, reading, reading, reading. And being out in the real world, visiting scores of factories of all types, large and small, and working with technical people all my life... Not to mention interviewing doctors and writing articles with them about radiation damage... > >Yucca Mountain is full of problems, it should never open, and almost surely won't. Yes, the waste should be moved to a less populated area (name a place you'd like to poison forever...) but as long as the plants remain open, at least five years' worth of fuel would have to remain on site as it would not be cool enough for transport until then. Plus the loads in the reactors. > >Plus ANY waste solution is decades in the future at best. And merely a pipe dream, at best. I've studied Yucca Mountain, looked over half a foot of documentation on it, and every other proposal for decades.... if you think that's the solution, well, good luck with that. It isn't. > >And lastly, my accusation of what an airplane, terrorist, earthquake etc. could do to the dry casks (or spent fuel pools) remains.... > >I'll admit that I wish it were possible for there to be a way to make nuclear power safe. After all, that would solve everything! And I'll even admit that San Onofre tried -- many of the employees tried. 95% perhaps. But that wasn't good enough and never will be. You said it yourself: One dropped wrench that one guy doesn't say anything about. 99.9% honest workers would be nice, but not enough, and not attainable. > >Best wishes, > >Ace Hoffman >Carlsbad, CA > > >At 07:23 PM 5/14/2011 -0700, rbusnardo wrote: >> >>Gary >> >> >>Below is a very good article from the NYT I am sending you . In answer to your other questions ; >> >>1 ) The canisters that are built at SONGS are built to the highest standards possible. When the project was designed we self imposed an ASME “N” and “NPT” Stamp on the fabrication and design of the canisters. This was done at great extra expense but gave us an independent inspector to oversee the project (ANI & ANIS ) . I can tell you with 100% confidence that canisters 1 thru 36 were built to the highest standards in the world. I can also attest to the quality of these casks which are / were the best in the world. I can not speak for any canisters that were built after I left. There was NEVER a welding issue that had anything to do with canister quality. This issue was an isolated case of one individual that willfully choose not to follow a specific parameter called out in a procedure. The activity that he choose not to follow had no affect to quality of fabrication or welding. This was strictly a case of willfully violating a procedure. That is a serious and in-excusable offense in the nuclear industry as it should be. >> >>I know you fellas think that SONGS should be closed. I am not a civil engineer , seismologist or geologist. I do have 25 years at SCE and have been in every nook and corner of all three Units at SONGS. Speaking from my experience and as a private (retired) citizen I would much rather have both power plants fully operational with a full crew in the control room , maintenance , health physics , engineering ect. on site overseeing both spent fuel pools and the dry cask stored fuel. Our fight is with the Federal Government for not opening a depository on the West and East coast as was agreed upon prior to building any of these 104 nuclear plants. >> >>Our focus should be on making SCE more transparent , ensuring they allow folks to speak up without fear of retaliation , demand an open and collaborative work environment and hold the NRC along with SCE accountable. We should ensure there is every possible contingency covered in case of a Japan-like event. We should assume that is possible not have a seismic study to prove it is not. I have never seen any seismic studies that can determine what Mother Nature has in store for us. If we need a better and higher tsunami wall it should be built. Back-up emergency diesel generators could be built on higher ground on the other side of I-5. We need to have some way to remove hydrogen from the spent fuel buildings in the event of an uncovering of the fuel. We could use a reservoir with ample borated water supply to fill and refill 100 spent fuel pools. It never what we do know it's what we don't know. >> >>The bottom line is our energy should be put into removing the SPENT FUEL which is not going to happen for several (20? ) years. The community has a responsibility to ensure the Site is run safely. I would be willing to help in this effort . Shutting the Plant down makes the problem even more dangerous that ship has sailed. REMOVE THE SPENT FUEL , work with the Utilities to get the DOE , DOT , NRC and Congress to open Yucca Mountain as soon as possible. We all want what is best for the community as do folks working at SONGS. There must be a way where we can work together to do what is best for all. >> >>Rick Busnardo >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>Greater Danger Lies in Spent Fuel Than in Reactors >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>By KEITH BRADSHER and HIROKO TABUCHI >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>Published: March 17, 2011 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>RECOMMEND >>TWITTER >>SIGN IN TO E-MAIL >>PRINT >>SINGLE PAGE >>REPRINTS >>SHARE >> >>Years of procrastination in deciding on long-term disposal of highly radioactive fuel rods from nuclear reactors are now coming back to haunt Japanese authorities as they try to control fires and explosions at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. >>Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News >> >>A pre-earthquake view of fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. >>1 of 7 >>Status of the Nuclear Reactors >>A daily tracker of the damage at the two imperiled nuclear plants. >>How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown >>Related >>Radiation Spread Seen; Frantic Repairs Go On (March 18, 2011) >>Easy Fixes at Reactors in Long Run Are Elusive (March 18, 2011) >>Japan Offers Little Response to U.S. Assessment (March 18, 2011) >>Radiation Fears and Distrust Push Thousands From Homes(March 18, 2011) >> >>Andrea Salazar, Airman 1st Class/U.S. Navy >> >>Loading high-capacity pumps from the United States Navy for use in the effort to cool Reactor No. 3. >> >>Some countries have tried to limit the number of spent fuel rods that accumulate at nuclear power plants: Germany stores them in costly casks, for example, while China sends them to a desert storage compound in the western province of Gansu. But Japan , like the United States, has kept ever-larger numbers of spent fuel rods in temporary storage pools at the power plants, where they can be guarded with the same security provided for the plants. >> >>Figures provided by Tokyo Electric Power on Thursday show that most of the dangerous uranium at the power plant is actually in the spent fuel rods, not the reactor cores themselves. >> >>The electric utility said that a total of 11,125 spent fuel rod assemblies were stored at the site. That is about four times as much radioactive material as in the reactor cores combined. >> >>Now those temporary pools are proving the power plant's Achilles' heel, with the water in the pools either boiling away or leaking out of their containments, and efforts to add more water having gone awry. While spent fuel rods generate significantly less heat than newer ones do, there are strong indications that some fuel rods have begun to melt and release extremely high levels of radiation. Japanese workers struggled on Thursday to add more water to the storage pool at Reactor No. 3. >> >>Helicopters dropped water, only to have it scattered by strong breezes. Water cannons mounted on police trucks — equipment designed to disperse rioters — were then deployed to spray water on the pools. It is unclear if that effort worked. >> >>Richard T. Lahey Jr., a retired nuclear engineer who oversaw General Electric's safety research in the early 1970s for the kind of nuclear reactors used in Fukushima, said that the zirconium cladding on the fuel rods could burst into flames if exposed to air for hours when a storage pool lost its water. >> >>Zirconium, once ignited, burns extremely hot and is difficult to extinguish, added Mr. Lahey, who helped write a classified report for the United States government several years ago on the vulnerabilities of storage pools at American nuclear reactors. >> >>Very high levels of radiation above the storage pools suggest that the water has drained in the 39-foot-deep pools to the point that the 13-foot-high fuel rod assemblies have been exposed to air for hours and are starting to melt, said Robert Albrecht, a longtime nuclear engineer who worked as a consultant to the Japanese nuclear reactor manufacturing industry in the 1980s. Under normal conditions, the rods are kept covered with 26 feet of water that is circulated to prevent it from growing too warm. >> >>Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, made the startling assertion on Wednesday that there was little or no water left in another storage pool, the one on top of Reactor No. 4, and expressed grave concern about the radiation that would be released as a result. >> >>The 1,479 spent fuel rod assemblies there include 548 that were removed from the reactor only in November and December to prepare the reactor for maintenance, and these may be emitting more heat than the older assemblies in other storage pools. >> >>Even without recirculating water, it should take many days for the water in a storage pool to evaporate, nuclear engineers said. So the rapid evaporation and even boiling of water in the storage pools now is a mystery, raising the question of whether the pools may also be leaking. >> >>Michael Friedlander, a former senior nuclear power plant operator who worked 13 years at three American reactors, said that storage pools typically had a liner of stainless steel three-eighths of an inch thick, and that they rested on reinforced concrete bases. So even if the liner ruptured, "unless the concrete was torn apart, there's no place for the water to go," he said. >> >>Mr. Lahey said that much of the water may have sloshed out during the earthquake. Much smaller earthquakes in California have produced heavy water losses from sloshing at storage pools there, partly because the pools are located high in reactor buildings. >> >>Its like being at the top of a flagpole, and once you start ground motion, you can easily slosh it, he said. >> >>A version of this article appeared in print on March 18, 2011, on page A12 of the New York edition. >> >> --------------------------------------------------------- >>From: Ace Hoffman >>Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:48 AM >>To: Gary Headrick >>Cc: rbusnardo ; Mike Mason >>Subject: Re: Fwd: Estimate of total amount of spent fuel at SONGS... >> >>5/14/11 >> >>Hi all, >> >>Thanks for this information. >> >>Items #2 and #6 are particularly scary; they show there's an awful lot of fuel on site! >> >>Dry casks are like a spent fuel pool with the water already missing... anything can set them off, especially a tsunami, terrorist act, airplane strike, explosion on the tracks nearby, etc. etc. etc. Heck, a marlinspike or a tamping rod dropped from a freakin hot air balloon could start a disaster... not your typical terrorist's tools, but they would work... >> >>5328 * 1500 = 7,992,000 lbs... >> >>Yours, >> >>Ace >> >> >>At 10:38 AM 5/14/2011 -0700, Gary Headrick wrote: >>>Thanks Rick. Any idea how much capacity (number of years) this can continue? Are you satisfied that the welding procedures you had to call them out on have been done correctly now? >>> >>>On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 8:32 AM, rbusnardo <> wrote: >>>Gary >>>below are estimates within plus or minus 10% >>>1 ) Spent fuel rod is 9ÂÂ" square x 15 feet long and weighs 1500lbs >>>2 ) the spent fuel pools were modified in the early 90ÂÂ's to double their capacity >>>3 ) There are 291 fuel rods in each reactor = 582 total >>>4 ) Every 12 to 18 months we remove app one third of the fuel rods and store them in the spent fuel pool . WeÂÂ've been doing this since 1984 in both Units >>>conservatively 26 years x .7 = 18.2 cycles x 2 Units = 36.4 cycles x 100 fuel rods = 3640 fuel rods >>>5 ) We need to remove app 100 fuel rods in each pool every outage to ensure we have the room to refuel >>>6 ) There are 46 canisters with 24 fuel rods each stored in spent fuel dry canisters to date 46 x 24 = 1106 fuel rods stored in dry canisters removed from the pools >>>7 ) Of the above stored canisters 17 of them are fuel from Unit 1 >>>Total >>>1106 fuel rods stored in dry canisters >>>582 active fuel in both reactors >>>3640 spent fuel rods in pools (est) >>>5328 TOTAL FUEL RODS AT SONGS >>>From: Gary Headrick >>>Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 6:54 AM >>>To: rbusnardo ; Mike Mason >>>Subject: Fwd: Estimate of total amount of spent fuel at SONGS... >>>Hi Guys, >>>Any chance you can answer how much spent fuel we've accumulated? How much capacity do we have? Any concerns about what is already in storage, like bad welding? >>>Gary >>>---------- Forwarded message ---------- >>>From: Ace Hoffman <> >>>Date: Fri, May 13, 2011 at 11:18 PM >>>Subject: Estimate of total amount of spent fuel at SONGS... >>>To: Jerry Collamer <> >>>Cc: Gary Headrick <>, Darin McClure <>, Gene Stone < > >>>5/13/11 >>>Hi Jerry, all, >>>I believe the correct figure is at least 3,000,000 and maybe 4,000,000 pounds of spent fuel -- or more! >>>-------------- >>> From my own nuke plant list: >>> >>>794 tons as of 1995. >>>-------------- >>>So that's one firm number I got somewhere... >>>I seem to recall crossing about 1000 tons around 2001, and I'm pretty sure I heard someone from the plant say they have 2000 tons now, which is quite an increase but maybe it was 1500? I can't remember exactly.... 1500 would be 3,000,000 pounds. It's got to be at least that much... >>>I tried calculating by adding 250 pounds per day to the 794 figure for 16 years -- that's another 3,000,000 pounds or so right there, but I think I heard 3 or 4 million pounds total... but maybe it's 5,000,000. Maybe it depends on if you include the fuel rod assemblies, or just the pellets, or what? >>>It's a lot, that's for certain! >>>Yours, >>>Ace

------------------------------------------------------------ (3) A proposed Resolution by the people of San Clemente: ------------------------------------------------------------

Written by Gary Headrick, San Clemente Green:

------------------------------------------------------------ (4) UCBerkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering food chain sampling in California: ------------------------------------------------------------

"Radionuclides, once deposited by rainwater or air onto the ground, will find their way through the ecosystem."

------------------------------------------------------------ (5) Contact information for the author of this newsletter:


Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers:
An Expose of the Nuclear Industry
Free download:
Carlsbad, CA
Email: ace [at]


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