San Onofre: the Nuclear Plant in LA's Backyard
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In Dana Point tonight, the public will get a chance to sound off on the nuclear generating plant at San Onofre. The reactors under those two big domes on Interstate 5 in Orange County were shut down in January after a steam leak revealed unexpected problems with thousands of tubes. SoCal Edison says it'll be safe to re-start one plant at 70 percent of power for five months. But some local residents are thinking about earthquakes, evacuations routes and Fukushima. We get a preview of tonight's meeting. Also, Soviet nuclear weapons were America's worst nightmare during the Cold War and — 50 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis — some remnants remain. We hear about air raid sirens in Los Angeles. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Iran, the economy and the bomb.
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San Onofre: the Nuclear Plant in LA's Backyard ()
Southern California Edison's website calls the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's two reactors the region's "largest and most reliable sources of electricity." Not any more. Since January, both reactors have been shut down because of unexpected wear on thousands of tubes carrying water that transfers heat from the nuclear cores to generate power. Restoration of full power won't happen soon, if at all. But Edison wants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to let it fire up one reactor to 70 percent of capacity for five months and then stop for an inspection. With some 8.4 million people living within a 50-mile radius of San Onofre, that's raised a storm of protest. Edison plans to answer questions tonight at a public meeting in Dana Point.
50 Years Later, Cold War Sirens Remain in LA ()
During the Cold War, there were more than 200 civil defense sirens in Los Angeles to sound the alarm in case of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. The system was never used, but portions of it are still with us. Saul Gonzalez reports on those Cold War relics. (You van see photographs of those Cold War relics on our blog at KCRW.com/WhichWayLAblog.)
Iran: the Economy and the Bomb ()
The prospect for a military strike against Iran's nuclear program is now part of the presidential campaign. In yesterday's foreign policy speech, Mitt Romney said the US should side with Israel when it comes to the "red line" for action against Iran's nuclear program. President Obama has said it should be an actual nuclear weapon. But Iran's economy is in serious trouble, partly due to economic sanctions. Will that alter the nuclear program? What do we really know about Iran's capacity or its intentions?
- Thomas Erdbrink: New York Times, @ThomasErdbrink
- Hooman Majd: journalist and author, @hmajd
- Reuel Marc Gerecht: Foundation for Defense of Democracies, @followFDD
- Robert Jervis: Columbia University
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.
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