Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Presentation to the CA Coastal Comm (CCC) Sept. 8, 2021:

Commissioners,

For decades you accepted the production of thousands of tons of nuclear waste. Why? Because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told you it was "safe" and ALSO told you you cannot make any restrictions based on "safety." They also promised to take the waste away.

I've been at hearings here in California where the moment a citizen mentions "safety" they are cut off.

So I won't talk about safety.

Rather I'm going to talk about consequences, and you CAN make rulings based on ANY potential consequences of any possible accident -- even the rare ones -- the so-called "beyond design basis" accidents.

You have an obligation to consider financial, environmental, and health risks to Californians from any and all possible accidents, ESPECIALLY including events which no reasonable person can responsibly predict the "odds" of them happening.

Extreme weather, terrorism, even just poor work attitudes or mismanagement -- all are unpredictable.

You MUST plan for worst-case scenarios. And if you do, you'll force Diablo Canyon to be permanently closed immediately, because any fool can see what might go wrong at any moment there, by looking at Fukushima or Chernobyl -- or at Hanford. Nobody wants a severe nuclear accident in California. We rebuild after fires, because we can. But areas of Fukushima will be uninhabitable for thousands of years.

To prevent a catastrophic event here, you must insist on better management of the waste at San Onofre and at other sites in California.

Some nuclear waste has been here for decades already. It isn't going anywhere because nobody wants it. Nobody needs it, and the infrastructure -- roads, tunnels and bridges -- is too dilapidated to move it anyway.

Most of the nuclear waste in California is in thin-walled canisters, much of it far too close to earthquake faults and tsunami threats.

It's your obligation to protect Californians, our health, and our economy.

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

postscript:

I've been continuing to listen to the CCC meeting, and a very interesting presentation by Patrick Barnard from "OCOF" talked about groundwater rise that will accompany rising sea levels over the coming decades.

It was a very interesting presentation -- but they did not discuss what might happen at San Onofre if the water table rises AND the ocean storms overtop the puny "sea wall" at the nuclear waste site. It would be good for the CCC to discuss that issue specifically when thinking about the environmental problems they are already thinking about. The ISFSI "island" is not designed to float and might crack, splitting open one or more of the thin-walled canisters (or thick-walled ones, if we had those in that ISFSI) and of course, the current canisters might not be able to cool properly if loaded with sand and debris after a tsunami (perhaps caused by a local underwater landslide or even a nuclear offshore attack)...