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A Disaster Waiting to Happen at San Onofre

September 29, 2002

Re "Nuclear Plant Safeguard," Sept. 16:

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is not safe, despite recent efforts to improve security mentioned in your editorial. It is a terrorist disaster waiting to happen. It will come from Al Qaeda terrorists chartering a business jet in a foreign country, loading it with roughly 2,000 pounds of high explosives, filing a flight plan to John Wayne Airport and flying the jet into the nuclear power plant. More specifically, the terrorists will target the highly radioactive, spent fuel stored at the facility.

A typical plant generates tons of high-level nuclear waste every year that is stored underwater or above ground in unhardened, concrete containers near the reactors. The ugly truth is that there is no effective no-fly zone around the nuclear plant and there is no effective anti-aircraft defense system installed at San Onofre.

Remember the image of a plane flying into a big, vulnerable building on 9/11? This time we will see a large "dirty" explosion destroy the power plant, close the interstate and send radiation to San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita.

Why don't we feel safer knowing the state is distributing anti-radiation pills to 400,000 residents within 10 miles of San Onofre?

Randy T. Smith

Coto de Caza

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