Subject: San Onofre license to lie renewal TONIGHT (July 29th, 2004) at SAN CLEMENTE, CA

July 29th, 2004

Dear Readers,

I suppose everyone heard about it but me until an article in yesterday's North County Times ( ) alerted me -- there's a hearing about San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station TONIGHT, July 29th, 2004 (details below).

It's apparently the annual one for San Onofre, but being promoted as some sort of special meeting on "security" where they won't tell us anything except that they are doing a good job.  Yeah, right.

Someone should come play MELTDOWN the TV movie instead -- it would do more good for the reporters present, who, if they start to "get it", and worry about the dangers from the plant, will get reassigned because the utility will blacklist them for asking the wrong questions and they'll have lost the all-important "access", or their news show's producers or newspaper's editors will feel that they are becoming too "involved in the story", or becoming "one-sided" about the issue.

Since it is by far the most important topic any citizen can work on today, or any news person can report on (or I would devote my activist efforts to that other thing which is more important), it's not surprising that when someone -- be they a reporter, a citizen, or a nuclear industry worker -- "gets it", they tend not to just get it a little bit.  It becomes a guiding facet of their lives, because they start to realize just how many lives are at stake in this issue.

One sided?  Well, I suppose there were a few Americans who were pretty one-sided in their opposition to Adolph Hitler in the 1930s -- BEFORE THE WAR.  Before Pearl Harbor.  And any reporter back then, who insisted on reporting over and over again on what that madman was doing with his millions of followers, was probably soon looking for a job for being "one sided" and for becoming "too emotional about the issue".

Truth has to fight through all that -- and much more -- to get heard.  It's a crying shame.

At these annual meetings, you have to sit through about two hours of mundane explanations of the grading system, the number of onsite and offsite hours the NRC devoted to San Onofre (but with little or no detail as to what they actually did during that time) and other minutia, and then you might get to speak for 2 or 3 minutes, and then the "meeting" is adjourned, and they'll talk to you individually until you're blue in the face, they'll take your documents if you want, and they say they'll get back to you, but the vast majority of the time they won't and when they do, it's only because you slipped up and asked something they have a simple stock answer, like, that a train derailment wouldn't hurt the plant (they say), even though they are right next to each other and highly explosive and other dangerous loads are carried routinely -- things that can explode into balls of flame hundreds of feet across (easily encompassing the plant's control rooms) and require evacuations for miles.  Not a worry, they'll tell you.  Yeah, right.

We will be told "SONGS" as they call it (it should be SONWGS but the "Waste" is silent and ignored) had "a very good year".  That means, they didn't melt the plant down.  And they didn't get shut down by an enlightened, smarter, more logical, better educated society.  To them, that's a good year!  There was only one "accidental shutdown" all year, so congrats will be handed out all around.  One would assume they actually made SCE some money.

I would not be the least bit surprised if this meeting was planned to be on the night of John Kerry's acceptance speech at the DNC a long time ago (even if it was just announced), figuring pro-nukers are generally Republicans, and scientists/humanitarians are generally Democrats, so they probably don't expect many people to show up tonight and even if they do, they won't get much news coverage.  The NRC and the nuclear industry will take any advantage they can find, from barely pre-announcing the meetings, to dropping concerned citizens from their email lists, to having special business cards to hand out to activists which DON'T HAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS ON THEM, and on and on and on.

Try this:  Watch for an NRC official to hand a reporter a business card.  Immediately go up to him and say "can I get a business card too?" and he'll go into a DIFFERENT POCKET to get it.  And it won't have an email address on it.

Well, slight-of-hand IS their game, after all.  Waste?  What waste?  It'll be put at Yucca Mountain!  Terrorism?  We can handle it. -- so don't ask.  Routine releases?  Very low.  We monitor everything.  3 million pounds of the deadliest stuff on Earth, sitting outside the containment dome?  Thanks for asking.   We'll take care of it.  Oops, we broke a bolt on the seismic restraints, but we know what we're doing and all the materials are up to code.

I never get any notifications from the NRC directly anymore.  I have apparently been blacklisted.  Showing up year after year at these meetings, giving them my name, indicating I want to be sent info, and sending them dozens of statements every year with my full name and address at the bottom is apparently not enough to get on the list.  Maybe you have to like them, too.

Anyway, it's a "special meeting" tonight at 7:00 pm at the Country Plaza Inn, 35 Via Pico Plaza in San Clemente, CA.  Be there or be square.

If Ray Golden shows up (he tends to come in late and not say anything these days) I will remind the crowd that the NRC has stated to me in writing that: "Statements made by the public affairs officer of a NRC licensee are not regulated activities.  Therefore, the veracity of such statements will not be investigated by the NRC" and they were talking about him at the time, and that that's a license to lie and in my opinion, tonight's meeting is little more than a license renewal.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA