An environmental organization called Friends of the Earth was running advertisements on cable television news channels this week demanding that the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station remain shut down.
According to FOE, which opposes nuclear power plants, the ads will run “in heavy rotation” in San Diego and Los Angeles.
The nuclear power plant in northern San Diego County has been inoperative since a small leak from Unit 3 at the end of January. Subsequent pressure testing last month revealed that three of the more than 19,000 steam generator tubes in the unit showed excessive wear.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered the plant to remain closed until its troubles are diagnosed. Unit 2 was already shut down at the time for scheduled maintenance.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission knows these reactors need to stay offline, and Southern California families know it too, but Southern California Edison is pushing ahead,” said Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth.
Edison’s Jennifer Manfre denied any rush to get the plant back on line.
“We have stated constantly that we will not return these units to service until we and the NRC say they are safe,” Manfre told City News Service.
The FOE ad opens with a brief black screen while a narrator says, “A nuclear crisis.”
Various still photographs of power lines, a man in a contamination suit and nuclear plant equipment are displayed as the narrator continues.
“A defective tube ruptures, leaking radiation, causing an emergency reactor shutdown, but it’s not Fukushima, Japan,” the narrator says.
He goes on to suggest that SCE is trying to reopen the plant to pursue profits.
The Friends of the Earth organization recently hired Fairewinds Associates, a firm that specializes in nuclear engineering and safety analysis, to review the San Onofre plant. The Fairewinds report accuses Edison of a lack of transparency about the problems and blames the utility for making modifications that led to the leaks.
Manfre insisted the utility has been open with the NRC and provided it with all information regarding the plant.
—City News Service