- Posted May 17, 2014 by
san clemente, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Fires near San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant
A number of wild fires are plaguing Camp Pendleton and the surrounding areas. The U.S. Navy owns this land and leases part of it to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The photo shows one of the fires taken from the Richard Steed Park in San Clemente. It was taken late afternoon on May 16. Note the power transmission towers clearly visible. One of the big dangers to any nuclear power plant is the loss of power. It is necessary to keep a constant flow of water to cool the highly radioactive waste immersed in pools. The catastrophe at Fukushima was caused in large part by the loss of power necessary for cooling. Two-thirds of the highly radioactive fuel at San Onofre is stored in 2 cooling pools. Any serious release of radioactivity at San Onofre could have disastrous effects on large parts of Southern California. The radiation at Chernobyl rendered the surrounding 1,000 square mile area a forbidden "zone of exclusion." The thousands of tons of nuclear waste at San Onofre have the radioactive equivalent of 2,000 nuclear weapons. The current plan of the NRC is to keep it on site for 60 years (and one hundred years after that) or until the nation opens a permanent waste dump. Since the country now has no plan for safely storing nuclear waste, San Onofre and Diablo Canyon will remain nuclear waste dumps for decades to come. While many concerned about the safety of nuclear power plants worry about earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, and human error, fire hazard is also of major concern.