Nader “Told Us So” about the Problems with the San Onofre Nuke Plant
Southern California Edison announced today that it will be permanently shutting down its troubled San Onofre nuclear plant. Ralph Nader’s response was “It’s about time.”
Nader has been pushing to close this and other risky and costly nuclear power plants for decades. In a 1973 column, Nader noted that Richard Nixon promoted nuclear power plants before the Associated Press editors, but failed to mention that the San Onofre plant had been closed for several months due to a serious and costly accident. In 1982, Nader released a statement and a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) criticizing the design and the operating record of the plant located in San Clemente, California.
In the letter Nader said, ”Our own review of the record regarding San Onofre leads us to believe that if this reactor is allowed to continue to operate, the public health and safety will be held hostage.”
Nader has consistently called for the elimination of nuclear power plants. In a March 28, 2011 letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, he wrote “The tragic events in Japan and the ensuing attention and disclosure to the conditions of nuclear plants in the U.S., Indian Point, San Onofre and Diablo Canyon, render it fair and necessary for you to listen to other viewpoints and respond.”
Regarding the closure of the San Onofre plant, he continued, “The choice facing the American people is the same now as it was in 1972. Either we close down these nuclear disasters-in-waiting before a catastrophe occurs (which many years ago the Atomic Energy Commission reported that a class-nine nuclear power plant accident could make an area the size of Pennsylvania uninhabitable) or we close them down after we suffer ravages of the radiation deaths, genetic damage, and poisoned air, food and water.
“The NRC chronically downplays the dangers and costs of nuclear power – that’s part of its promotional tradition for the industry,” said Nader. “That leaves the task to taxpayers and those Americans who live within range of these plants – over half the population – to start the drive to make their country free of nuclear power and its perils.”
Continued greater, feasible energy efficiencies in ongoing technologies and a faster adoption of renewable energies, are the sane pathways to the immediate future. For further information, visit www.nader.org.