[link to www.utsandiego.com
It’s been a year now since defective, expensive and brand-new steam generators failed at the San Onofre nuclear plant, leaving California regulators scrambling to figure out not only how to keep the lights on, but who should pay for this $700 million fiasco.
The alphabet soup of responsible parties – Southern California Edison, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission – failed to find the flaws, despite the warnings from watchdogs.
Frankly, since the regulatory agencies have failed, we think there ought to be a law that asks utilities how much it will cost:
• To pay for indefinite storage of thousands of tons of radioactive waste on our coast,
because there is no short or long term federal solution;
• To pay for independent seismic studies and – if even possible – the costs of retrofits
to withstand earthquakes in a post-Fukushima world;
• To pay for expanded emergency planning zones extending from the current 12 to 18 miles to the 50 miles the U.S. NRC recommended to Americans living in Japan after Fukushima;
• To pay for alternatives to the use of a million gallons of seawater each minute
to cool the reactors in order to meet both state and EPA standards and avoiding killing fish and larvae in our waters;
• To compensate homeowners or business coverage in the event of a radioactive release, because the federal $12.6 billion liability limit is a drop in the bucket compared with over $100 billion in claims already facing Japan since its disaster.