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By Gary Headrick, San Clemente

Last week, the California Coastal Commission approved plans to remove all structures above ground at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Of course, we’d all like to see that happen, almost as much as we’d like to see the nuclear waste being transported away to a safer location.

However, we were only given part of the story. A major aspect was hardly mentioned—destroying the spent-fuel pools, which are our last line of defense should one of the canisters need to be replaced.

There is a basic question we should all ask ourselves when faced with such consequential decisions: Who do you trust?

Do you trust an industry that faces huge expenses and liability if canisters fail while under their management? 

A company of ill repute, Holtec International, that sees $1.3 billion dangling in front of them for promising to take over the nuclear waste storage problem when they only have a series of failures to point to?

Southern California Edison, who lied about the canister full of more radiation than the Chernobyl disaster that was hanging by one-fourth of an inch above an 18-foot drop?

A Coastal Commission that approved the plan to store nuclear waste on our shores and then leave us no pool or hot cell in case something goes wrong?

Who you should trust:

Whistle-blowers who risk careers to warn the public of danger.

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB), an independent panel of experts who were nominated by the National Academy of Science.

Your fellow citizens who spend countless unpaid hours doing the research and organizing, motivated out of concern for our community and the precious environment we all call home.

A bold young man, Jackson Hinkle, the most knowledgeable candidate on nuclear waste, (who ran) for San Clemente City Council, willing to step up in a big way to lead his generation toward a more sustainable future.

When in doubt, question motives and go with the precautionary principle promoted by those in harm’s way. We’re all on the same side for the safest solutions possible.

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