UPDATE, APRIL 25, 10:53 A.M.: As expected, the Irvine City Council Tuesday night called for the shutdown of the nuclear power plant 22 miles away, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
Among the more than 200 people who turned out for the agenda item was Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear engineer who traveled from Vermont to tell the Irvine council plant operator Southern California Edison made design changes that make SONGS unsafe and that a new national "no nukes" movement has been born.
Lead by Councilman Larry Agran, the council voted to send a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission calling for the continued closure of SONGS, which is offline pending NRC approval of an Edison plan to mitigate tube wear in steam generators in units 2 and 3.
The action comes as other electricity-generating facilities, including the AEG plant in Huntington Beach, have been advised they may be called into action for the summer months, and Edison has made noise that SONGS will be good to go if only the feds will allow it.
Besides Gundersen, the Irvine council heard from dozens of people from throughout Southern California concerned that an operating SONGS poses a threat because of terrorism, earthquakes and leaking radiation. Issues surrounding plant safety and evacuation plans were also raised.
Solano Beach in San Diego County recently adopted a similar resolution. A no nukes rally is planned at the SONGS gate Sunday.
ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 19, 5:49 P.M.: Years ago, when Tim Carpenter was leading various peace and justice causes in Orange County, he participated in very public efforts to close the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
He later moved to Massachusetts to become national director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), a peace, justice and healthcare-for-all movement born out of the 2004 Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich presidential campaigns.
Carpenter has not forgotten OC, returning often for PDA actions and fundraisers. He hasn't forgotten SONGS, either.
Carpenter, who'll be back in town next week, and Bill Honigman, Orange County's PDA organizer, have gotten behind a campaign mounted by another longtime SONGS foe, Marion Pack of Orange County's Alliance for Survival chapter.
Pack has issued a call to storm Tuesday's Irvine City Council meeting, where Orange County progressives' de facto Grand Poobah, Councilman Larry Agran, is calling anew for the closure of the nuclear power plant that's 22 miles away from Irvine City Hall.
"We need to be at the table!" Pack writes in an email to supporters.
Agran, who made national headlines as Irvine's young mayor in 1990 when he championed the city's ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's)--not to mention two years later when he ran for president--on March 27 asked city staff to investigate the possibility of Irvine demanding the closure of SONGS to protect the citizenry.
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Staff is scheduled to return Tuesday with answers to eight questions Agran posed. The meeting--and Orange County's progressive family reunion--begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Alton and Harvard.
You know how family members wear matching shirts to reunions? Check out Pack's advice to attendees: "Wear green!"