Sept 6 visit to the San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump

Sept 6 visit to the San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump and why 24/7 Independent Real-time Radiation Monitoring is only the ethical first step we must demand in this process.

On our first visit to the San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump on June 12, 2018, Darin McClure and I wanted to go out and take a look at the progress of the construction of the ISFSI pad and check radiation levels of the new Holtec JC canisters with our SAFECAST BGEIGIE NANOS radiation monitors. At the March 2018 SCE Community Engagement Panel (CEP) I had introduced the idea of 24/7 Independent Real-time Radiation Monitoring at the San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump with access to the public. Tom Palmisano, Vice President of Decommissioning San Onofre, gave us permission to take a couple of readings with our new monitors as an example of how they work in relationship to SCE’s monitors. At that first visit, SCE agreed that our monitors were picking up comparable accurate readings with their instruments. After that first visit, I started asking myself if an early warning system was possible. After speaking with three experts in the field I had a pretty good plan for how it could be done, my answer was a resounding yes. On the June 12th visit, the radiation readings ranged from 264 to 324 counts per minute or CPM’s at the two Holtec canisters we measured.

At the August SCE CEP meeting, Tom Palmisano offered a counterproposal for real-time radiation monitoring. That proposal was the SCE monitors on site would go directly to Orange County and San Diego County emergency preparedness operations, but with no public access. I consider this a big win for us. But it is only a good step in the right direction of our negotiations for 24/7 independent real-time radiation monitoring with access to the public. But clearly in my mind and many others who are working for the safety of Southern California residents having access for the public is a must, considering the fact that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has made the San Onofre site a nuclear waste dump for a period of 299 years or until the Department of Energy (DOE) picks it up, and that puts a serious question in everyone’s timeline.

At the August SCE CEP meeting, again I asked Tom Palmisano if he would allow Darin and I to come out and measure all of the canisters on the ISIFI pad and I asked David Victor, chairman of the CEP, to join with us in this effort with his new bgeigie. He said yes. Now I am thinking we have engaged SCE and the CEP and we are working together for the perfection of public safety from the enemy which is radiation and not SCE or CEP. We agreed to meet on-site on September 6th at 2pm. Darin McClure, David Victor, Dan Stetson, Vice Chair of the CEP, and I all showed up on time and ready to go on to the ISFIS pad along with two SCE guides to answer our questions on site.

With our safecast bgeigie nanos in our hands, we all walked up the ramp to the Holtec side of the pad. We systematically walked down the aisles between all 29 Holtec canisters. We got readings from 36 to 649 CPM’s. Remember on our first trip to measure radiation we only measured two canisters. This time we measured each of the canisters on the Holtec side and it’s notable that we got this range of readings. Not too surprised at the higher readings having learned more about what to expect while monitoring on the ISFIS pad. To explain this I now need to explain about time, distance and shielding. These are factors in measuring radiation. The further you get away from the vent pipe the reading starts to go down and that is expected, also, with time, the readings go down because of dispersion; shielding, of course, is how effective the canister is from allowing radiation to escape the canisters. To see all the readings go to http://safecast.org/tilemap/?y=33.37016&x=-117.55535&z=16&l=0&m=0

Now over to the Areva side of the ISFIS pad. These are the older canisters, some that have been there for as long as 15 years. We started at the oldest canister (number 1) and we moved down the first aisle towards the end and we got the highest reading of the day which was 2024 CPM’s equal to 6.06 microSieverts is the dose rate. To understand the dose rate of 6.06 millisieverts it was explained by Dr. Patrick Patin of SDSU, if I stood next to this canister for 24 hrs a day for 365 days I would receive the legal dose for one year. That is not to say that would be good for anyone. The CPM number is the number of radiation particles that hit our Safecast bgeigie nanos, unfortunately, it is not making a distinction between Alpha, Beta, or Gamma radiation only that there is a radiation source nearby.

As to the highest reading of the Areva canisters, we must consider that these are older canisters with less of an ability to shield the radiation, therefore, we can expect higher readings from these canisters, which SCE said was normal and to be expected. SCE once again confirmed that our monitors were reading accurately.

As you should expect, there has been much discussion about these readings and how to understand them between the four novice users of this technology. We all have been consulting with different experts as well as SCE experts. What this user has found out is how this technology is scientific, but there is still an aspect of art to the interpretation and understanding of the qualifying circumstances and factors to these readings that are just difficult to grasp without much more experience. I can say with full confidence that we’ve all come to the conclusion that having qualified experts come in and take more readings may be the only way to get a justifiable, accurate and independent interpretation of these readings.

How can this be done? The obvious answer is to hire an independent expert, have someone from Safecast come and verify the information. To initiate the first step in this action, on September 7th I called Region 4 of the NRC to speak with the team leader Linda Howell who will be at San Onofre September 10th for the inspection and told her of our various readings on both sides of the ISFIS pad and made an official request that the NRC monitor the ISFIS pad while they are here for the Sept 10-14 inspection. These readings should be part of their report.

I hope to have SCE give their explanation of these readings as part of this article or in a separate article of their own. ROSE has been working hard over the last few months with the Community Engagement Panel and Southern California Edison to ensure more cooperation and transparency with the public that I personally hope will result in better safety around the ethics of having a nuclear waste dump in Southern California. ROSE is working with SCE and independent experts, to understand the way the nuclear industry looks at radiation, how the public looks at radiation and a way for all of us to see the truth of it.

To achieve these goals it is important to have the support of the people of Southern California and the city leaders of our communities and to insist that Southern California Edison install 24/7 Independent Real-time Radiation Monitoring at the New San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump with free access to the public.

For those interested in finding the best technologies to achieve our goals here are some links you may find interesting. “Lighthouse Detector” can distinguish between many sources of radiation. https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/lighthouse-detector-can-distinguish-between-many-sources-of-radiation/
Bicron RSO-5 https://www.uml.edu/Radiation-safety/Using-Rad-Materials/Detectors/Dose-Measurements/Bicron-RSO-5.aspx
Safecast https://blog.safecast.org/

ROSE wants to thank Public Watchdogs and give you a big thank you for your help in obtaining the SAFECAST BGEIGIE NANOS radiation monitors. This effort on your part has been a tremendous help in obtaining transparency and cooperation with Southern California Edison to find out what amounts of radiation is coming out of the Areva and Holtec canisters at the San Onofre Nuclear Dump.

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Independent Real-Time Rad Monitoring Petition

Join us today! If you had a nuclear waste dump near you do you think it should have an Independent Real-Time Radiation Monitoring system? We do right here at San Onofre, less than 4 miles from town.
Sign the Petition at:

https://www.change.org/p/genston-sbcglobal-net-i-m-for-independent-real-time-radiation-monitoring-at-san-onofre?recruiter=1488315&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_petition

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SAFECAST DEVICES USED FOR FIRST READINGS INSIDE A US NUCLEAR PLANT

SAFECAST DEVICES USED FOR FIRST READINGS INSIDE A US NUCLEAR PLANT Thursday, July 5th, 2018 by MARC PROSSER

GENE STONE (LEFT) AND DARIN R. MCCLURE (RIGHT) FROM ROSE INSIDE THE SAN ONOFRE SITE WITH THEIR SAFECAST BGEIGIE NANOS.

Safecast-collaborators from the NGO Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE) recently used a bGeigie Nano when visiting the site of the San Onofre nuclear plant in California. It was the first time that Safecast’s devices have been used to make measurements inside a US nuclear plant facility.

The group, which also hosts a Solarcast, has been volunteering with Safecast for a while now, and their strong, local efforts combined with Safecast’s reputation and standing could lead to several Solarcasts finding a more permanent home on the grounds of the San Onofre Plant.

“Our collaboration has the potential to lead to the creation of the first monitoring system of its kind in the US, which would be really exciting, and show the value of local groups having open, accessible tools to work with, rather than having to rely solely on equipment and measurements from companies and government organisations,” Sean Bonner of Safecast says.

Potential real-time monitoring system

ROSE is looking to use Solarcast Nano-devices as a permanent first-alert system for the San Onofre, nuclear waste dump. The plan is to place the Solarcast Nanos close to the heat vents of the 72 Holtex and 51 Areva canisters at San Onofre.

This would enable better monitoring of the canisters and a quicker response in case of leakage.

PICTURE TAKEN BY ROSE DURING THEIR VISIT TO THE SAN ONOFRE SITE.

“If the CPM numbers measured at the vent stay stable over a given period, that would indicate that there were no leaks. However, if this same canister’s numbers moved up significantly for an extended period, that would be an indication that a leak had begun. Some of those cans – which is probably a more correct way of describing them – are already 15 years old,” Gene Stone of ROSE, says.

He also notes that while South Californian Edison (SCE), which oversees the nuclear waste site, has monitors on the site, they are located on the fence surrounding the area, meaning that they are more than 50 feet away.

“We believe that is too far away to pick up subtle shifts, in part because they are monitoring in Rems instead of CPM’s,” Darin McClure of ROSE says.

SCE monitoring is closed, single source and requires people to trust that a company is checking itself, whereas Safecast is independent and open and doesn’t have a financial stake. Having both Safecast and SCE data available to the public would lead to higher degrees of trust and assurance of the situation.

ROSE is currently in negotiations with SCE regarding putting Solarcast Nanos near the heat vents.

Quicker warnings for the public

Real-time data from the Safecast Solarcast Nanos located at the heat vents would be crucial in creating a warning system, which could dramatically lower the response time to any leaks and make it possible for locals to receive real-time alerts in case of any leaks.

“I think there are something like 70 million people living within a 100-mile radius of the site. I think that only a small percentage of people in the area are aware of what could happen if there was a serious leak. Today, you can’t sell a house in California without carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. An early warning system would provide the same kind of information but for radiation,” Darin McClure says.

He notes that the system would also enable SCE to respond quickly to any leaks.

“Currently, SCE carries out measurements, but it happens infrequently,” Gene Stone says.

Safecast has been working with ROSE in relation to the system and believes that, while funding and details still need to be worked out, the Solarcast Nanos would be a good fit.

“The Solarcast, the new Solarcast Nano, and the earlier Pointcast system were designed specifically for that kind of always-on-always-connected purpose. So, a real-time first alert system is a good idea. We’d love to work with ROSE and South Californian Edison to put together an appropriate system though, and honestly, the new Solarcast Nano’s might be perfect for this,” Sean Bonner says.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MARC PROSSER
Marc is British, Danish, Geekish, Bookish, Sportish, and loves anything in the world that goes ‘booiingg’. He is a freelance journalist and researcher living in Tokyo and writes about all things science and tech. He started volunteering for Safecast after writing articles about their work following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami – and because he believes that data and technology should be open and readily available.

Reposted with permission from Safecast.

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Independent Rad Monitoring/Symposium on Radiation for San Onofre Nuke Dump

via Independent Rad Monitoring/Symposium on Radiation for San Onofre Nuke Dump

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Independent Rad Monitoring/Symposium on Radiation for San Onofre Nuke Dump

Below is an action alert that ROSE is sending to some members of the CEP. I hope you may want to join us in this action for our community. We need 1000 people to send an email to the CEP. If you are willing please send them a note, copy and paste or write your own text. Then send it to these email addresses: david.victor@ucsd.edu,
manuel.camargo@sce.com,Tom.Palmisano@sce.com, danstetson@me.com,garry@coastkeeper.org,marnimagda@gmail.com, genston@sbcglobal.net,

The subject line should read “Independent Rad Monitoring/Symposium on Radiation”

Community Engagement Panel members,

I am asking each of you as CEP members to support and to take action ASAP along with SCE for a public CEP meeting on “Independent Real-time Radiation Monitoring” for San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump, and a second CEP meeting for an “Educational Symposium on Radiation” with “independent” radiation experts along with experts from SCE and the NRC. This a necessary step for all the stakeholders to understand what is in and what could come out of these canisters now or in the future. Thank you for your consideration of these two programs for the safety of our community.

Sincerely,(your name here)

Here at ROSE, we are working hard to understand the full effects of radiation that is now setting on our beloved “Old Mans Beach” in cans above and below ground, and how to provide the best early warning system with today’s technology for the safety of our community. Thank you for your help to achieve this goal.

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Is a First Alert System at San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump Possible?

Is a First Alert System at San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump Possible?

Darin and I took some radiation readings June 12 at SONGS waste dump on the ISFSI pad of 324 CPM’s and talked to Tom Palmisano about Safecast and the setup of a real-time independent radiation monitoring system with free public access.

I posed several questions to Sean Bonner of Safecast and Arnie Gunderson of Fairwinds and Dan Sythe of Medcom International about how a first alert system at San Onofre nuclear waste dump should be implemented. Below is their combined answers.

If SCE would place a Solorcast nano (using the CPM option} and a thermocouple were to be placed at each of San Onofre Holtex canisters right at the heat vent for monitoring like Darin and I did on Jun 12 (see picture) we know that there will be some differences between each of the 72 canisters. As long as the CPM numbers on a particular canister stayed close to that same number, say 324 CPM’s over a period of time, that would indicate “no leak”. However, if this same canister’s numbers moved up more than 100 CPM’s or more (or any of the other canisters numbers changed), that higher number if it stays up for 24hrs or so would be an indication that a leak has begun, therefore being an early warning system. We would also have to do the same monitoring at the 51 Areva canisters that some of them are already 15 years old.

SCE monitors are on the fence more than 50 ft away and 30 ft high in the air and are too far away to pick up these subtle numbers because they are monitoring in Rems instead of CPM’s.

The use of CPM will give us quick action and notification time we would need to warn the public, if, of course, we have real-time public radiation monitoring.

“The Solarcast (and the new Solorcast nano) and the earlier Pointcast system were designed specifically for that kind of always-on-always-connected purpose. So, a real-time first alert system is a good idea. We’d love to work with you to put together an appropriate system though, and honestly, the new Solarcast Nano’s might be perfect for this.
Yes, our system was designed with that in mind, the final coding on that isn’t done but the idea is you can specify all sensors within X area and if they increase by more than a certain % you can be notified.” Sean Bonner

The answer is “YES” it is possible to have a First Alert System at San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump! Please join us and support our efforts for this system at the next CEP meeting on Wednesday, June 27, it will be at the Casino in San Clemente, from 5:30-8: 30 pm.

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The Critical Facts You Need To Know About The Clean Water Crisis


There is a clean water crisis affecting billions of people around the world. What causes it and what can you do to help? Here’s what you need to know.

The Critical Facts You Need To Know About The Clean Water Crisis

Water is essential for life. Not only does it connect every aspect of life, it’s a fundamental human need.

Every person requires at least 20-50 liters of clean, safe water daily for drinking, cleaning, cooking and more. And despite scientific advancements, about 780 million people do not have access to an improved water source, with an estimated 2.5 billion people lacking access to improved sanitation.

That’s more than 35 percent of the earth’s population.

As chef Marcus Samuelsson says:

Clean water and access to food are some of the simplest things that we can take for granted each and every day. In places like Africa, these can be some of the hardest resources to attain if you live in a rural area.

Without clean, potable water, or ways to sanitize water, people are left with dirty, deadly water that can make them seriously ill or have fatal outcomes.

Millions of people find themselves in the midst of a clean water crisis.

Much of the world’s population get their water from rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water, and the vast majority of those people are the world’s poorest people.

According to The Nature Conservancy, about half of the world’s 500 most important rivers – the water sources for hundreds of millions of people – are either seriously polluted or seriously depleted. In other words, millions of people have no option but to draw their water from sources that are rampant with pollution.

In this article, we’re going to give you the what, why, and how of the clean water crisis. In order to make a difference, you need knowledge. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is the Clean Water Crisis?

Put simply, the clean water crisis describes the global epidemic of freshwater pollution and depletion. Every single day, people around the world die from a lack of water, lack of access to sanitation, lack of clean and potable waters, and other waterborne diseases.

Freshwater supplies are limited, water sources are vulnerable, and the poor are often disadvantaged in that many of them live in water-deficient countries.

It’s estimated that about 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and that about 780 million people don’t have access to an improved water source. Even more:

Approximately 801,000 children younger than 5 years of age perish from diarrhea each year, mostly in developing countries.

Unsafe drinking water, polluted water used for hygiene, and inadequate sanitation together contribute to a staggering 88% of deaths from diarrheal diseases.

Trachoma, the world’s primary cause of preventable blindness, is the result of poor hygiene and sanitation.

Want it put even more starkly? Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease that could have been prevented simply by providing access to clean water.

As Sanjay Wijesekera, global head of UNICEF’s water, sanitation, and hygiene programme says:

If 90 school buses filled with kindergartners were to crash every day, with no survivors, the world would take notice.

According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, the regions with the lowest coverage of sanitation and potable water are sub-Saharan Africa (at about 31 percent), Southern Asia (at about 33 percent), and Easter Asia (at 65 percent).

Why sub-Saharan Africa? The answer is complicated, just as the water crisis is.

First, Africa is a predominantly arid continent, with little rainfall in many areas. Because of this, atmospheric conditions regularly refresh the water supply.

Additionally, many of the freshwater bodies in Africa are controlled and restricted by governments or hopelessly polluted.

Furthermore, the infrastructure required to bring water from the Congo River (the largest supply of fresh water) to the population at large is incredibly expensive. The countries who need this infrastructure most simply can’t afford it.

Finally, the lack of education regarding the sanitary and hygienic use of water results in many people consuming filthy water without being aware of the consequences.

The Effects of Contaminated Water

As briefly noted above, unsafe or polluted water doesn’t just account for fatalities. In fact, unsanitary water can cause numerous waterborne diseases that result in millions of deaths every year.

Over 800,000 children under five years old will die from diarrhea each year that’s been contracted from waterborne illnesses. This amounts to waterborne, diarrheal diseases causing a staggering 11% of the 7.6 millions deaths of children under the age of five.

Millions of people worldwide are also infected with Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) through their water sources. These diseases, like Buruli Ulcer, Trachoma, and Guinea Worm Disease, are most often found in areas with unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, and insufficient hygiene practices.

Make no mistake, however. Drinking, cooking with, showering with, and using contaminated water doesn’t just make people sick: using contaminated water is a dangerous, deadly practice.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water-related diseases. Most of the fatalities are young children who die of illnesses caused by organisms that thrive in water sources contaminated by raw sewage.

Because there’s no access to sanitation and no modern plumbing, human waste often mixes with local water systems, as well as things like animal waste, fertilizers, and industrial by-products. All of this leads to immense pollution of potable water sources.

How Can You Help The Clean Water Crisis?

If you have access to clean, drinkable water, you might feel too far removed from this issue to help bring about change. But that’s not the case. There are dozens of things you can do to help with the clean water crisis.

It’s possible that simply by going about your daily routines, you’re unknowingly contributing to the pollution of our struggling waterways. Educating yourself on how you can change this and what behaviors you can implement to help will go a long way in helping to solve the clean water crisis.

Some simple things to consider are:

If you have a dog, pick up after him. Animal waste can leak into storm drains and water supplies, polluting the water supply.

Consider how you treat your toilets and sinks. Sewage treatment processes can be hugely affected by flushing non-degradable products and by draining paint, oil, or chemical cleaners into sinks.

Check your faucets and pipes for leaks so as to not waste water, and even check your water meter for hidden leaks. You can even go as far as installing water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators.

Other simple things like not letting the faucet run, minimizing garbage disposal units, and taking shorter showers can help conserve clean water, too.

On a larger scale, there are bigger things you can do to help conserve clean water, such as donating to programs that are fighting for clean water in these areas. You can also get involved with these programs and offer your services to help people find access to clean water.

Investing in companies and organizations that are fighting for clean water in these regions can help fund reliable water projects that will serve villages and schools.

The Clean Water Crisis: What it Means

Water is a fundamental human need, and each person needs liters upon liters of clean water daily to survive. Unfortunately, people around the world are suffering from lack of clean, potable water. Bodies of freshwater are constantly being depleted and polluted.

This, in turn, leads to millions of illnesses and fatalities every year. Tens of millions of people are made seriously ill or killed by a host of water-related ailments every single year. The saddest part? These illnesses and deaths could be prevented.

The excessive amounts of microbes and chemicals in freshwater sources make it impossible and dangerous to drink, and the contamination is only getting worse.

Because our freshwater sources are limited, it’s absolutely essential that we learn how to conserve and clean our existing water.

We agree wholeheartedly with the World Health Organization, which noted:

In 2010, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.

Clean water is precious. Don’t take it for granted.
Article reposted with permission from: https://connectforwater.org/critical-facts-about-clean-water-crisis/

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