Tag Archives: Harvey Wasserman

San Onofre Off Forever Soon

People standing up for safety and sanity may yet stop big business nukes. After San Onofre is finally off for good, how about let’s cancel Plant Vogtle? -jsq

Harvey Wasserman wrote for nukefree.org 16 May 2013, San Onofre at the No Nukes Brink,

In January, it seemed the restart of San Onofre Unit 2 would be a corporate cake walk.

Edison billed southern California ratepayers roughly $1 billion for San Onofre in 2012 even though it generated no juice.
With its massive money and clout, Southern California Edison was ready to ram through a license exception for a reactor whose botched $770 million steam generator fix had kept it shut for a year.

But a funny thing has happened on the way to the restart: a No Nukes groundswell has turned this routine rubber stamping into an epic battle the grassroots just might win.

Indeed, if ever there was a time when individual activism could have
Continue reading

Shutdown at San Onofre: permanent this time?

California only has a couple of nuclear reactor locations (unlike the 32 reactors within 500 miles of here), and one is in even worse shape than the other: San Onofre, almost as bad as Crystal River. I’m sure Southern Company would never cut corners or have design or construction problems at Plant Vogtle, right?

Harvey Wasserman wrote for AlterNet 7 January 2013, Showdown at San Onofre: Why the Nuclear Industry May Be Dealt a Big Blow,

Perched on an ocean cliff between Los Angeles and San Diego, the reactors’ owners cut unconscionable corners in replacing their multi-million-dollar steam generators. According to Russell Hoffman, one of California’s leading experts on San Onofre, inferior metals and major design failures turned what was meant to be an upgrade into an utter fiasco.

Installed by Mitsubishi, the generators simply did not work. When they were shut nearly a year ago, tubes were leaking, banging together and overall rendering further operations impossible.

Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric have unofficially thrown in the towel on Unit 3. But they’re lobbying hard to get at least Unit 2 back up and running. Their technical problems are so serious that they’ve asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to let them run Unit 2 at 70% capacity. In essence, they want to “see what happens” without daring to take the reactor to full power.

The NRC has expressed serious doubts. On December 26 it demanded answers to more than 30 questions about the plant’s technical realities. There have been assertions that unless San Onofre can be shown as operable at full power, its license should be negated.

It’s good the NRC got around to doing something, after Continue reading

Missouri has defeated CWIP: so can Georgia

A veteran of the original No Nukes movement calls Plant Vogtle and CWIP like he sees it.

Harvey Wasserman wrote Friday for EcoWatch, Nuclear Power’s Green Mountain Grassroots Demise,

The accelerating revolution in renewables has allowed solar, wind and other green sources to outstrip atomic reactors in cost, time to build, ecological impact and safety. As billions pour into Solartopian sources, private investment in atomic energy has all but disappeared—except where there are massive taxpayer subsidies.

Even that’s not enough. In 2011, President Obama handed $8.33 billion in federal loan guarantees to the builders of two reactors at Georgia’s Vogtle. But Peach State ratepayers are already being soaked for billions more in pre-payments, and the cost of the project is soaring. A parallel financial disaster looms at the Robinson site in neighboring South Carolina. Though the industry assumes these four reactors will eventually be finished, economic realities may say otherwise.

Cost estimates for new nukes have been soaring even before construction begins. Even with federal money, the builders still demand that state ratepayers foot the bill as the process proceeds, meaning consumers are on the hook for multiple billions even if the reactors never open. Pitched battles over this Construction Work in Progress scam have already been won by consumers in Missouri and are being fought in Iowa and elsewhere. As the years of building drag on, costs will escalate while renewables continue to become cheaper. Sooner or later, construction is likely to stop, as it did at numerous projects in the 1970s and 1980s which were never finished.

We can end CWIP in Georgia. It will benefit Georgia Power and the EMCs as well as all the rest of us when we stop wasting tax and customer dollars on boondoggles like Plant Vogtle or biomass or private prisons and get on with clean, profitable, job-creating renewable energy in Georgia: wind off the coast and sun inland.