skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

High Radiation Readings At San Clemente May Be False

Aired 3/14/12 on KPBS News.

High Geiger counter readings were found on San Clemente beach during a recent anti-nuclear protest. The report has spread across North County communities. One expert who regularly monitors the area says the readings are wrong.

— Residents of North County beach communities are concerned by reports of high radiation readings near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). But an expert questions the accuracy of the readings.

Japanese visitors from Fukushima – who participated in an anti-nuclear rally on March 11 – reported high Geiger counter readings on the San Clemente beach. The results of the readings have been shared with many North County residents by email, the Internet and social media, alarming some.

But Murray Jennex, an associate professor at the San Diego State University Homeland Security Program, disputed those findings.

“I’ve been monitoring background radiation and radiation in Oceanside off and on for the last year since Fukushima, and I’ve never seen anything above background,” Jennex said. “So I don’t believe the readings they get were correct.”

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
Enlarge this image

Above: San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Gene Stone of the group “Residents for a Safe Environment” brought the Japanese visitors from Fukushima to San Clemente. He admitted their Geiger counters may have been faulty. But Stone, who lives in San Clemente, does not trust plant operator Southern California Edison to communicate the results of radiation monitoring. He added they do not routinely share the results of radiation readings near the plant with the public.

“We think it’s imperative that the people living around these plants have a real time monitoring system,” Stone said. “We as citizens deserve true, accurate information from an independent source.”

Stone says the nearest federal radiation monitoring system is 50 miles away in San Diego.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.


Avatar for user 'jerrycollamer'

jerrycollamer | March 14, 2012 at 9:58 a.m. ― 5 years ago

Residents of San Clemente deserve a publicly placed, easily visible to everyone,
radiation monitoring device, situated city-center, displaying SONGS' minute by minute radioactivity output. Seems obvious / a no-brainer post Fukushima.
If SONGS is safe, what could be the objection to such a device?
If SONGS is unsafe (as many contend), then of course SONGS
would not want to display radioactivity leakage.
Taking SONGS at it's word, is old news.
There's too much at stake.
SONGS' troubled workplace track-record tells all.
38.000 compromised new pipes? Who's kidding who?
San Clemente needs to know - NOW.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DarinRMcClure'

DarinRMcClure | March 14, 2012 at 11:13 a.m. ― 5 years ago
San Clemente Community Center Event Reading
San Onofre Event Reading

I am not an expert, what is the URL for real time monitoring of releases from this leaking aging now shuttered yet again nuke plant in a tsunami hazard zone?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'aaheart'

aaheart | March 14, 2012 at 8:10 p.m. ― 5 years ago

Public trust has been severely damaged by agents of the machine, corporate government, corporate news media, corporate institutions, and corporations in the nuclear industry. With a long history of lying, disinformation, and misinformation, corporations have manipulated their way to the highest echelons of public responsibility and have failed that public repeatedly.

Murray Jennex might be an honorable and ethical man, but his job is on the line here and he has a conflict of interest because his employer, Homeland Security has a conflict of interest. They also have a short but intense history of lying to the public, endangering their health, and threatening their freedom and liberty.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'LisaMcClure'

LisaMcClure | March 15, 2012 at 9:36 a.m. ― 5 years ago

My daughter's elementary school is minutes from the plant. When the leak occurred parents with children in San Juan Capistrano schools were notified by phone of the leak. Parents in San Clemente were never notified. "An expert questions the findings?" ... really? Why don't we have people with equipment down there immediately checking for our safety and the safety of our children? There should be monitoring at Concordia Elementary. Children are at the greatest risk, they are growing, their cells are dividing. This callousness and irresponsibility is horrific. A leak did happen, that is fact. Not giving the people of San Clemente and outlying areas access to real time independent radiation readings is wrong. If it's so safe prove it!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'TorgenJohnson'

TorgenJohnson | March 15, 2012 at 11:53 a.m. ― 5 years ago

I was present when the Japanese visitors, both Umi and Hiro, were taking reading of the area just to the south of the power plant on Sunday and their radiation readings were what they described as above the legal safe limit for Japan. They asked me through their translator if the public was aware of the radiation they were detecting at the moment. They checked the ground in several locations and there were several people around them watching this take place.

I did not see Murray Jennex standing near to the Japanese while they were taking their readings, and I don't believe he was even present at the event on Sunday so I don't understand how Jennex can make any credible comments about the Japanese readings in San Clemente based on radiation readings he has been taking "off and on" many miles away in Oceanside. Rather than dismiss the presence of radioactive contamination, I think it would be more prudent to take radiation readings throughout San Clemente before discrediting the readings taken by Umi and Hiro.

The lesson from Fukushima is that radiation readings of nuclear fallout contamination across a wide region can vary widely from property to property depending on how the radioactive fallout precipitated out of the atmosphere and which way the wind was blowing the radioactive release. This unpredictability of fallout dispersion makes a nuclear disaster even more frightening above and beyond the fact that radioactive contamination is undetectable to our human senses.

San Clemente and surrounding communities need publicly accessible real-time radiation monitoring of the releases that are regularly discharged from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Anything less is unethical given the health risks of ionizing radiation secretly and regularly released into an unsuspecting population.

( | suggest removal )