Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Previously Classified Documents Unveil Fire Dangers At San Onofre
SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) - Previously classified documents along with other evidence uncovered in an exclusive CBS2 investigation point to hidden fire dangers at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
Grace Van Thillo says “it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
SONGS continues to be in violation of critical decades-old fire safety standards. You have to prevent fires in reactors or you can have a meltdown and you have to create significant separation between your backup and your primary cabling,” Hirsch said, adding that “The reactor in back of us [SONGS] still hasn’t done that.”
We’ve obtained a previously classified report which shows one worker “deliberately failed to conduct required fire protection surveillances and falsified fire watch logs.”
And the report says it went on for five years between the dates of April 2001 and December 2006.
SONGS leads the nation in the number of safety complaints filed by its own employees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
One prior employee told his managers back in 1999 about another fire risk – circuit breakers that could allow critical wiring connected to emergency pumps to overheat and catch fire. He says his supervisors ignored his concerns for years so he went to the NRC. Last year, the NRC agreed the circuit breakers did not provide adequate protection and Edison agreed to change them by the end of the year.
Nuclear experts Dan Hirsch’s assessment: “It’s a form of Russian roulette. It’s a form of tossing dice.”