Subject: Ahhhhh! So now we know why the North County Times has been silent about problems at San Onofre!

Date: April 1st, 2004
To: "Editor, NC Times" <>
Re: Today's news

To The Editor;

Well, what a surprise.  You'd almost think it was an April Fools' joke.  According to Paul Sisson's front-page article today in the North County Times, San Onofre Nuclear WASTE Generating Station  (called SONGS instead of SONWGS because the "Waste" is ignored) needs AT LEAST two thirds of a billion dollars in major repair work because it's aging MUCH FASTER than the industry "experts" expected.

If they do the upgrade, they will get the enormous amount of money needed, either directly or indirectly, from the ratepayers and/or the taxpayers.  You can just count on that.

UNMENTIONED in this or in ANY article by the North County Times is that the rusting that causes these required repairs comes after literally DECADES of warnings from Dr. Ed Siegel and others, regarding crappy welding material and other signs of extraordinary rusting, corroding, decaying, aging, embrittling, dissolving and dispersing at the nation's 104 nuclear power plants, which provide an easily-replaceable 7% of our nation's total energy needs, even by the most liberal estimates.  In reality, when one accounts for the mining, milling, refining, transporting, and other processes for the nuclear fuel cycle, and the normal costs of plant operations, AND the potential cost of disposing, some how some day, of the waste (Yucca Mountain is an engineering disaster, strongly opposed by the citizens of Nevada and unlikely ever to become operational), nuclear power wastes money every day, and puts the nation, and SoCal specifically, at great risk.

Now the costs are going to go up even higher.  This should be stopped IMMEDIATELY -- BEFORE this new batch of fuel becomes highly irradiated.

The cost of repairs is estimated at $680 million, but no one should be surprised if, by the time the work is done, it's not double or triple that (assuming they don't find anything even more major that's wrong with the plant while they do the work).  This expected cost probably does not include reimbursement from the plant's insurance company for "downtime" and outside purchases of electricity.  SOMEBODY pays for that, too, and it won't be SCE.  This major upgrade will be free to them but will actually put the public at great risk by keeping the plant open -- with all the rest of its parts continuing to age and most of which are already quite old (and many are made of the same materials and welded with the same weld materials).

How long has the North County Times known about this seemingly sudden request with its 6-inch thick documentation?

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the plant is still lying to the public about solutions to the problem of where to put all that dangerous hot waste they generate each day, 250 pounds per reactor.  Just a few grams of nuclear waste would be any terrorist's delight, and could destroy any local town.  Vast amounts of this waste can also be distributed through natural and man-made accidents.  We don't need ANY more of this waste.  We need to stop manufacturing nuclear waste altogether, but especially at San Onofre.  There's lots of clean energy options in California -- let's use them, instead.

There's NO reason to allow the replacements of the steam generators (made with foreign parts) to occur.  We should shut down BOTH UNITS immediately.

In one 14-month time period recently, California added 4100 MEGAWATTS of generating capacity -- enough to replace all four of the state's old nuclear reactors.

Why won't the North County Times report about worker allegations at the plant?  About the true cost if an accident were to occur?  About the many simple ways a terrorist could attack a plant, and the ludicrous response from the nuclear industry this writer received when he alerted them and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about those specific threats?

Now that the out-of-towners (the refuelers Sisson admiringly wrote about last month) are either gone or about to leave, how about publishing the whole stinking truth about that plant?

Shut San Onofre!


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

P.S. This should be published either as a Community Forum or other Opinion piece.  It is not possible to respond to so much filth as your writer spews out in one 200-word letter, and you have a duty to let the truth out once in a while.