Requested that 24 hr inspections be done once a month, saying it could be called 'accident conditions'
Risky storage facility largely untested; Underlines relative safety of spent fuel pool storage and quick removal
SAN DIEGO (JUNE 7, 2017) -- Today, Citizens Oversight submitted a formal comment to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding the planned spent fuel storage facility on the coast at San Onofre. Ray Lutz, founder of Citizens Oversight, drafted the comment document which provides feedback on a startling request by Holtec, the manufacturer of the spent fuel storage facility. Holtec asked to be allowed to inspect the exhaust ports on the lids of the spent fuel storage cavities once every 30 days instead of the currently mandated once every 24-hour frequency.
Holtec said they should be allowed to consider normal conditions as 'accident' conditions, and then allow the temperature in the storage containers to rise over the normal limit of 400°C (752°F) up to 570°C (1058°F). The details can be seen in the attached documents.
Lutz said, "This just shows you how untested and risky these storage facilities can really be. The idea that they are even contemplating foregoing the 24-hour inspections and doing them only once every month, when they know the cladding can reach a critical temperature if the exhaust ports are covered for only 24 hours is astounding. It illustrates how we can't trust for-profit organizations to protect the public if they can save a buck. In contrast, the spent fuel pools are well understood and do not have inspection problems. We know that there is no technology to inspect the canisters while fuel in the pools can be fully inspected."
Citizens Oversight Projects (COPS) has sued the Coastal Commission to stop the permit to build and use a nuclear spent fuel storage facility only 100 feet from the ocean and inches over the high-water mark. COPS wants to quickly move the fuel to a safer location away from the ocean, earthquake fault lines, tsunami risk, and 8.4 million people.
"The insanity continues," Lutz said. "The request to avoid daily inspections is so outlandish and ridiculous, it is hard to understand why they would try. But the facility right on the beach was granted so nothing is sacred."
The comment document also includes comments regarding the loading of the transportation casks needed to promptly move the fuel to an offsite location, which is still largely undefined. There are significant concerns regarding whether the 120,000 lb. canisters will be able to be removed from the cavities on the beach, particularly if they have undergone any corrosion that may bond them to the bottom of the cavity.
"This has never been tried before. We really don't know if the canisters will come out once they are installed and there is no alternative plan. They always say 'Don't worry, we will solve that later.' But it is later and it is still not solved," Lutz said.
Lutz will be appearing at the Vista Library on June 8 at 5:30pm for a presentation and public meeting on the nuclear spent fuel situation.
See all related information at this project link: http://citizensoversight.org/StopNukeDump
RSVP for Vista Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1860954487251619
Activist Signup: http://citizensoversight.org/signup
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nonukedump
Madge Torres -- 760-613-7035 or 760-753-1886 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Lutz -- 619-820-5321 / email@example.com