The Keep San Onofre Shut Down campaign
Friends of the Earth has been concerned with nuclear safety as a principal and foundational issue since the inception of the organization in California in 1969 – just two years after the first reactor began operation at San Onofre (now closed). The controversial plans for building two more reactors at the site were strongly opposed by environmentalists, local citizens, and Friends of the Earth through the 1970's and 1980's. One of the main safety concerns for Friends of the Earth and others at that time was that San Onofre was close to major seismic fault lines. Decades before the tragic events at Fukushima in 2011, the risk of catastrophic accident triggered by earthquakes was clear.
Throughout 2012, Friends of the Earth has focused on the serious problems with the steam generators at San Onofre – the very same ones that in January caused a leak in the two then-functioning reactors and led the plant to stop operations. Steam generators are critical major components inside a nuclear reactor – both for generating the steam used to produce electricity, and also as a vital safety mechanism for helping to cool the reactor and preventing the release of large amounts of radiation into surrounding areas.
The timeline of San Onofre
The history of the San Onofre nuclear generating station is both long and troubled. Click here to learn the origins and tarnished career of these reactors on the Pacific coast.
About Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth strives for a more healthy and just world. We understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so we push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy. Sometimes, this involves speaking uncomfortable truths to power and demanding more than people think is possible. It's hard work. But the pressures facing our planet and its people are too important for us to compromise.