Anti-nuke protesters gather outside shuttered San Onofre
Ahead of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman's tour of the shuttered San Onofre power plant, a group of anti-nuclear activists called on officials to keep the plant out of service.
Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko is slated to tour the plant Friday, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and others.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ordered the plant to stay out of commission until issues with the plant's steam generators are understood and addressed. The plant's two working reactors have been closed down for more than two months while Southern California Edison and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission probe the cause of unexpected problems with hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water in the plant's new steam generators.
Standing on the beach with San Onofre's reactor domes as a backdrop, the activists made reference to Fukishima and other nuclear disaster sites and called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to keep San Onofre shuttered until the root cause of unexpected tube wear is understood.
But many said that regardless of what is causing the issue with the tubes, they want to see the plant stay down for good.
"I'm pretty convinced that this is time for us to move on to a new technology," said Gary Headrick, founder of the group San Clemente Green.
Meanwhile, a small group of volunteers have launched an effort to monitor radiation levels in the air around San Onofre, using Geiger counters that can be hooked up to smartphones.
-- Abby Sewell, reporting from San Onofre
Photo: Activists hold a news conference near the San Onofre nuclear plant to discuss why they think it should be shut down. Credit: Christina House / For The Times