Kamayani aka kractivist
INDIA CLIMATE JUSTICE
STATEMENT ON THE UTTARAKHAND CATASTROPHE
We cannot ignore the climate crisis anymore!
25 June 2013
The India Climate Justice collective notes with deep anguish the devastating loss of life, livelihoods, and homes in Uttarakhand and beyond. The death toll is likely in the thousands, way beyond current official figures. We extend our deep condolences to the families and friends of those killed, and our support to those still fighting for survival, and to local populations whose livelihoods will take years to rebuild.
This tragedy was triggered by extreme unseasonal rains in North India, 2-3 weeks in advance of what is normal for this region. The Director of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Dehradun, said that 340 mm fell in a single day at Dehradun, a record not seen for five decades. Such extreme and unseasonal rainfall seems to us to indicate a global warming induced climate change phenomenon. Warmer air due to global warming has the capacity to hold more moisture, leading to more intense bursts of rainfall. The natural monsoon cycle in India has already been badly disrupted, and a new cycle of extreme rainfall events and prolonged droughts have been reported from all over the country in the recent past. Thus, contrary to statements by senior politicians, the Uttarakhand disaster is not natural: it is no less man-made than the other contributors to the tragedy. And if it is indeed induced by global warming, similar catastrophes could recur with increasing frequency and intensity anywhere in the country in the coming years.
In Uttarakhand, a chaotic process of ‘development’ that goes back many years exacerbated the effects of this extreme rain. Extensive deforestation of mountain tracts, by the state and more recently due to ‘development’ projects, led to soil erosion and water run-off, thus destabilizing mountain slopes and contributing to more intense and frequent landslides and floods. Unchecked hill tourism has resulted in the huge growth of vehicular traffic, spread of roads not suitable to this mountainous terrain, and the construction of poorly designed and unregulated hotels and structures, many near rivers. Sand mining along river banks has intensified water flows into rivers.
Most of all, the construction and planning of hundreds of small, medium and large dams across the Himalayan states from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the northern Himalayas to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the east, have destabilized an already fragile ecosystem and threatened biodiversity. A staggering 680 dams are in various stages of planning, or construction in Uttarakhand alone! These dams have a direct connection with the extent of the damage that can be caused in such flooding events, in that the tunnelling and excavation in the so-called run-of-the-river projects cause huge and unregulated dumping of excavated debris into river basins, leading to increased siltation, and in turn aggravating the flood situation. The electrical power generated by these dams will be consumed by urban elites elsewhere. It is ironic that these dam projects, while adversely impacting people’s access to their river commons, claim to be climate change solutions in the guise of renewable and green energy, and have already made huge profits by fraudulently claiming CDM (clean development mechanism) status. In 2009, the CAG had warned the government of Uttarakhand that the “potential cumulative effect of multiple run-of-the-river projects can turn out to be environmentally damaging”. Like many other warnings by environmentalists and local community groups in the past, this was also ignored. And now we are facing one of the biggest disasters that the country has seen in decades.
The central government of India and various state governments, including the govt of Uttarakhand, have prepared action plans for combating climate change. Any such plan ought to include the establishment of a disaster-prediction and warning mechanism. The Uttarakhand government has taken no measures to prepare for this kind of eventuality, though it has paid lip service to climate action plans over the last three years. In the present case, the IMD issued inadequate warning, which was disregarded by the state government. An urgent prior warning could have ensured that pilgrims don’t move forward and retreat to relative safety, that locals reduce their exposure to risk to the extent possible. Thousands of pilgrims from different states, locals, workers in hotels and dharamshalas, and transport animals have been killed. Cars with people inside them were washed away. Those who have survived had to go without food for several days. Thousands are still stranded at different points, or in forests, and we are still counting the dead.
There has also been extensive devastation of local lives and the regional economy. Serious devastation has been reported from over 200 villages, so far. Innumerable locals, including agricultural workers, drowned in the raging waters or were submerged under mud and debris. Houses have collapsed or been washed away. Tourism and the local employment it generates have been hit indefinitely at the peak of the tourist season. Floods, landslides and debris have devastated agriculture along the rivers. Irrespective of whether these extreme rains are due to climate change or not, this is what a climate change world in the Himalayas looks like. This devastation is a glimpse into a climate uncertain future.
We see this tragedy as a result of cumulative and widespread injustice and wrongdoing: not only against the Himalayan environment, but also against mountain communities whose survival depends on that environment. This tragedy is also a crime, because our policy makers and administrators are also part of the larger climate injustice at a global scale that threatens, displaces and kills the marginal and the poor everywhere. On another plane, they simply let it happen. We believe that adaptation to disasters does not just mean desperate rescue work during and after the event, but also reducing vulnerability and risk before. Effective adaptation involves a series of measures that need to be adopted on a war footing. The sustainable development of a hill economy, and equity – not profit for a few – should be at its core.
India Climate Justice demands:
· That the governments at the central and state level retreat to a low carbon pathway of development that has equity, decent employment, and sustainability at its core.
· That the planning and construction of dams in the entire Indian Himalayas be reviewed, and all construction be halted until such a review is carried out.
· That the use of explosives in all such infrastructure development works is completely stopped.
· That, given the likelihood of extreme rainfall events and other climate extremes in the future, extensive and sub-regional warning systems are put in place urgently across all the Himalayan states, the coastal areas and beyond.
· That a proper assessment of the carrying capacity of specific ecosystems is carried out.
· That the eco-sensitive zone measures be implemented from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi and eco-sensitive zones be established in other river valleys.
· That a river regulation zone be enforced such that no permanent structures are allowed to be constructed within 100 metres of any river.
· That the residents and their organizations are thoroughly consulted in a democratic plan on climate change, in the revival of the local hill economy, and the generation of decent employment.
· That all working people be compensated for the loss of life and livelihood, and that urgent plans are put in place for the revival of local livelihoods and agriculture.
· That the central government learn from the Uttarakhand catastrophe to put in place prior adaptation measures not just for the mountainous regions but beyond, for coastal and the drought-prone interiors as well.
(INDIA CLIMATE JUSTICE)
All India Forum of Forest Movements; Pairvi; Beyond Copenhagen; South Asia Network of Dams, Rivers and People; National Alliance of People’s Movements; Himalaya Niti Abhiyan; New Trade Union Initiative; All-India Union of Forest Working People; Chintan; Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha; Toxics Watch Alliance; Nadi Ghati Morcha, Chhattisgarh; Rural Volunteers Centre, Assam; Vettiver Collective, Chennai; Himal Prakriti, Uttarakhand; Maati, Uttarakhand; Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti; River Basin Friends (NE); India Youth Climate Network; Intercultural Resources; Kabani, Kerala; Human Rights Forum, Andhra Pradesh; National Cyclists Union, India; Equations; Posco Pratirodh Solidarity, Delhi; Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives; Science for Society, Bihar; Nagarik Mancha; SADED; JJBA, Jharkhand; BIRSA; Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee; Adivasi Mulvasi Astitva Raksha Manch; National Adivasi Alliance; Bank Information Centre; Focus on the Global South; Jatiyo Sramik Jote, Dhaka; Jharkhand Jungle Bachao Andolan; People’s Union for Democratic Rights; All India Students Association; All India Progressive Women’s Association
Badri Raina, Kamal Mahendroo, Benny Kuruvilla, Subrat Sahu, Arun Bidani, Saurav Shome, Amitava Guha
India Climate Justice is a collective comprising social movements, trade unions, other organizations and individuals. It was formed in 2009 to respond to the growing climate crisis, from a perspective of justice and equity.
Tel: 09434761915, 09717771255, 09910476553
M. RAMESH, The Hindu
What’s holding up the commissioning? Is it a problem with the valves and cables? Or something more?
The Site Director at the Kudankulam nuclear power project, R.S. Sundar, is a man apparently wizened by experience.
When Business Line asked him if the project would really start producing power in July (the latest revised deadline), his response was as honest as it was terse: “We hope.”
One cannot fault Sundar for his lack of conviction. A man no less than the Prime Minister of the country assured his Russian counterpart in December 2011 that the project would be commissioned in “two weeks” and said exactly the same thing again to the same individual three months ago.
The project was originally scheduled to be commissioned in December 2007. We Indians have learned to live with such timeline misses; frustration over project delays does not manifest itself in much more than puckered lips. Given the issues, such as faulty valves and cabling, it looks like there is no way the plant will be commissioned any time soon.
But more frustrating than the five-and-half-year delay in the Kudankulam project is the lack of transparency in matters around the project.
Technical people in responsible positions engaged in the construction of the project have been telling this correspondent for well over a year that everything is ready for commissioning and they did not know what was causing the delay.
Their conjecture — which could be erroneous — has been that the entire establishment is awaiting word from the Prime Minister’s office to yank the lever.
It is well over a month since the Supreme Court gave its clearance for the project. Ask Sundar, he will tell you that “preparations and review process are going on”.
The project has already suffered a cost overrun of Rs 4,000 crore. In December 2011, when protestors had stopped work at the project, his predecessor, Kasinath Balaji, famously lamented that each day of delay cost a revenue loss of Rs 3 crore. But now there is a resounding silence.
Something is happening inside that black box called Kudankulam. Nobody says what.
In this information vacuum, the most contextually credible perspective provided by down-the-line engineering staff and technically knowledgeable observers is that the delay is due to the valves scare.
It goes like this: some valves supplied by the Russian company Zio Podolsk have been found to be sub-standard and who knows how many other valves are defective?
Some of these other valves are inside the sealed reactor and cannot be easily removed. They are probably safe enough, but the shrillness of the anti-nuclear, anti-Kudankulam protests has reached such a crescendo that even a minor safety incident would inevitably result in a flare-up.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) would not want to end up with egg on its face by giving clearance for the commissioning.
So, they are going into the manufacturing log books of the Russians, component by component, to make sure things are alright. But the problem with this approach is, it is still not fool-proof. And everybody knows that.
What is not helping matters is the manner in which information was withheld when news about the faulty valves broke out.
When it was a matter of public record that a Special Secretary in the Department of Atomic Energy, A.P. Joshi, visited Zio Podolsk in July 2012, five months after the arrest of Sergei Shutov, the Procurement Director of the company, for fraud and corruption and supply of shoddy products to reactors, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India came up with the claim in February 2013 that “no information regarding any investigation against Zio Podolsk is available to NPCIL.”
And now there is talk of faulty cabling. In an article, A. Gopalakrishnan, a former Chairman of AERB, has said that large tracts of cabling would need to be re-done and this could take several months.
Could these faulty valves and cables (and God knows what else) set the project commissioning further behind? Nobody knows.
Misinformation thrives in this information-gap. One fails to understand why the nuclear establishment does not come clean and tell people what exactly is happening.
It apparently does not want to. S.P. Udaykumar, who is leading the protests against the nuclear plant, says that despite an order of the Central Information Commissioner, NPCIL has refused to share the ‘safety analysis report’ and the ‘site evaluation report’.
Incidentally, the Commission in its order tellingly noted thus: the Commission repeatedly asked the PIO to identify and explain the specific interest which might be affected….he gave no reasons whatsoever for claiming that the security, strategic and scientific interests of the State would be prejudicially affected if the Reports were disclosed.
Udaykumar has consequently filed a case with the Delhi High Court asking for the reports.
Elsewhere in the world, reports such as these are freely shared with the public.
In one of his articles, Gopalakrishnan noted that “the contrast between how nuclear regulators in the best of democracies openly interact with their peoples and how the DAE and the AERB shrink from the public is quite apparent to all and this is increasing the disaffection and distrust of the Indian public for all nuclear operations and their safety.”
At a time when the country is suffering from an unprecedented power crisis — worst experienced by Tamil Nadu which is the chief beneficiary of the project — the monstrous delay in the project is going unexplained.
People ought to be told what exactly the issue is, whether there are faulty components and if so, the seriousness of the problem and the remedies available.
Those responsible for the delay, be it individuals or companies of Indian or foreign origin, should be brought to account.
Bhopal is the capital of India’s centrally located state Madhya Pradesh, housing 15.6 percent of Dalits and 21.1 percent of Adivasis totaling 26.6 million. Every fifth of the Adivasi and every 7th of the Dalit in the county live in Madhya Pradesh.
On 9th June, thousands of Dalit-Adivasi men, women from all over Madhya Pradesh converged in city’s Shahajani Park, about 1km from Bhopal Railway station. Adivasis marching under the banner of Adivasi Adhikar Andolan led by Dadulal Kole and Dalit under the banner of Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha led by its General Secretary Sanjay Kumar Bharti joined together demanding from the Government to implement Land Reform in Madhya Pradesh enabling every land less – Dalit, Adivasi or of any caste and creed – gets 5 acre land.
Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra Converge in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh in India!
Thousands of Landless Dalits and Advasis Demand Land for Livelihood and Dignity!!
The Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra leaders had no media machinery, no laptop carrying middle or elite class activists supporting them. Leaders of this Yatra could neither read or write English – the main language of discourse, communication or propagation of thoughts of Indian Civil Society. But the Yatra evoke good response and thousands of the Dalits and Adivasis and other landless people reached Bhopal demanding five acre land for all the landless people in Madhya Pradesh.
It was interesting that most of the men and women who joined this Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra from its starting point at Hanumana in district Rewa or those who reached Bhopal on 9th June fall short of speaking, reading or writing fluent Hindi, the state language of Madhya Pradesh. But this lack of command over Hindi or English was a non-issue for them. They knew only one thing that they were land less and they declare their need and demanded land. Unlike underground and so called radicals, these Dalit, Adivasis and Landless and their representatives were clear about their expectation from the Government and they believed that it was the duty of the state to fulfill their demands of 5 acre land.
Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra, which Dalit-Adivasi launched and dared to walk by foot for the cause of land indicated their courage and determination. The Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra that began on 1st January 2013, had been to more than 646 villages spread from Rewa on UP-MP border, covering whole MP part of Bundelkhand and then to Vidisha, Raisen and then to state capital Bhopal and hence covering more than 2200 kms.
Organisers – the Adivasi Adhikar Andolan and the Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha – a unique combination, seems to be aware of political fall out of this joint struggle. In Madhya Pradesh, where Bahujan Samaj Party, which has made it presence felt among the Dalits, has failed to make inroad among the Adivasis. Similarly Gandwana Gantantra Party, which has presence among the Adivasis, has failed to enroll Dalits as its mass base. With lost base among the Dalits, Congress is trying hard to gain foot hold among the Dalits. BJP is has already made clear to increase its vote share among them, it will be interesting to see how this collective journey will unfold in Madhya Pradesh, which goes to the poll at the end of this year. If Shivraj Chauhan Government offer what Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra is demanding, he could be sure of getting in power 3rd time. Women after women who addressed the Rally at Bhopal declared that they will vote to the one who gave them land. Let us see how this unity and the challenge by the Dalits and Adivasis unfurl?
NAPM Demands a Political Resolution on Telangana
Condemns Undemocratic Extraordinary Steps against the Telangana Agitators
June 14, New Delhi / Hyderabad : Andhra Pradesh is in turmoil once again over the demand of a separate Telangana. The struggle for a separate Telangana has been ongoing for a long time now. The central and state governments as well as the major political parties in the state have played opportunistic and partisan political games with people’s sentiments. Exploiting people’s emotions for vote bank politics, parties have supported formation of unholy alliances and politics of divide and rule. The uncertainty over the demand for a Telangana state must end now so that people can carry on their occupations and work without anger, ill-will and anxiety.
The formation of smaller states in the Indian Union is, in general, a significant step towards bringing the locus of political power closer to the people. Small states in India, given the population size of the country, will still be big by international standards. With a population of about 3 crores, Telangana, if and when created, will be viable as a state of the Indian Union. Demands for making governments responsive and accountable, need for redressing administrative inefficiency, and popular aspiration for a better life have set the stage for a new phase of states’ reorganization.
The people’s movement for Telangana has reached new heights in recent years. People’s struggles and sacrifices have made it clear that the demand for a separate state of Telangana now represents the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of the people in this region.
The Andhra Pradesh Assembly convened on 10th of June has remained paralysed on the issue of Telangana. It’s unfortunate to see the extraordinary measures that have been taken up by the government to suppress the ‘Chalo Assembly‘ call, given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee, an umbrella organisation of several pro-Telangana groups
National Alliance of People’s Movements believes that while it is necessary to maintain the law and order situation, suppression of democratic people’s protest by maas illegal arrests of activists, threatening the people of Telangana, and cancellation of monthly pensions and essential commodities through fair price shops to people participating in Telangana agitation, is totally unacceptable.
NAPM, no doubt, has always supported the demand for smaller states, whether in Jharkhand or Uttarakhand but has also warned that without change in the paradigm of development and system of governance, there can be no fundamental change in the politics or relations of power in favour of the toiling masses. We repeat this warning in the case of Telangana, having witnessed the continued injustice and exploitation in the newly formed states. NAPM, however, supports the popular demand for Telangana which will benefit not only the agitating people from the Region but all in the present State of Andhra Pradesh whose lives and livelihood are continuously affected due to keeping the issue burning with struggle as well as oppression becoming an unending politics to be faced by common people.
Hence, NAPM calls for an immediate political resolution on the issue of Telangana. In spite of widespread support in Andhra Pradesh for the Telangana cause, there seems to be an impasse over statehood for the region. The Telangana movement offers credible hope of changing the iniquitous structures of power and control in the state and its failure could see the forces of lawlessness acquiring new strength, with disastrous consequences for the common people.
Medha Patkar, Ramakrishnam Raju, Prafulla Samantara, Dr. Sunilam, Gabriele Dietrich, Arundhati Dhuru, Saraswati Kavula, P S Ajay, Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant, Vimal Bhai, Madhuresh Kumar, Sashank Rajwadi
New Delhi, 11th June 2013 Ten year old Nadeem (name changed) was extremely confused when he was rescued from a electric appliance making unit in Badali. The confusion became grimmer when he refused to tell his parent’s name and address. Actually, he did not remember his village’s name, not even his parent’s face. Who brought him here and where he came from – are the questions yet to be answered.
Acting on a complaint filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), on the eve of 12th June, the World Against Child Labour, law enforcement authorities have rescued 58 children from 6 different locations in the capital today. 56 boys have been working in various factories engaged in making plastic coolers, fans, polishing and making electric molding, etc., whereas 2 girls were freed from domestic servitude. Rescue operations have been carried out in 5 different factories and at a placement agency running under the garb of welfare organisation (NGO).
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Founder BBA, said, “When the world would be observing the day against child labour tomorrow, over 215 million children would be languishing in various forms of child labour including slavery in its ugliest form, whereas over 200 million adults are without jobs. We strongly demand that child labour must be made a cognizable and non-bailable offense. Special courts should be established to take time bound action. A fine of at least Rs. 1,00,000 be recovered from each erring employer and an effective rehabilitation must be guaranteed under the law.
It is shameful that in 2010 and 2011 only 1592 employers have been convicted for employing child labourers, i.e, approximately one employer per district per year showing clearly a blatant disregard for the guidelines of the Supreme Court of India.” He also urged the people to boycott all services and goods produced by the children.
It is pertinent to note that in the period of five years (2007-2011) 1255987 inspections were conducted but only 17884 violations have been detected and 4263 people were convicted.
Most of the child labourers rescued today have been trafficked for forced and bonded labour from West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh after paying advance to their parents. The rescued girls belonged to Uttar Pradesh. Working from 8 am till late night in small, gloomy, and suffocating room in the heat with little or no medical care and attention has resulted in skin rashes and wound marks on their body especially hands, telling the pathetic conditions in which they were forced to live and work. The children were not allowed to talk to their parents back home without the permission of employer. On an average children were getting Rs. 50-100 per week as wage.
Mr. SC Yadav Deputy Labour Commissioner North-West District said, “We will keep executing such exercise in future also. The fine of Rs. 20,000, as per the direction of Supreme Court of India, will be recovered from each and every erring employer along with all the back-wages.”
The SDM present during the rescue operation refused to declare children as bonded labourers citing logistical compulsions of appearance during trial. Thereby berefting the children of comprehensive rehabilitation package under Bonded Labour System Abolition Act 1976.
For further information contact:
SDM (Alipur): 9555189618
DLC (North West): 9811165128
Rakesh Senger (BBA): 9212023778
12h June 2013
We the undersigned strongly condemn the blatant attempt by the Kerala police to intimidate five colleagues from the field of film and media by filing fabricated cases against them for ‘rioting’, ‘unlawful assembly’ and ‘public obstruction’ (IPC Sections 143, 147, 149 and 283 ).
These five individuals- K.P.Sasi, noted filmmaker and activist, I. Shanmukhadas, film critic, Prasannakumar T.N., film activist, Shafeek, journalist and Deepak, filmmaker and film society activist- were participating in a peaceful protest on February 11 at Thrissur, Kerala, along with many others, outside the venue of the Vibgyor Film Festival 2013 against the concept of capital punishment and the summary execution of Afzal Guru.
The peaceful protest which lasted for an hour, in no way disturbed public order or caused communal unrest. For this act of democratic expression, these fraudulent and trumped charges have been filed against them.
It is indeed shocking that the Kerala police should deny citizens their basic right to peacefully protest against the death penalty, which 97 nations across the world have abolished. As per Amnesty International data, over 2/3 of the countries of the world (140) are now “abolitionist in law or practice”. In India, there has been an alarming resurgence of the death penalty, which needs to be questioned and protested against by all those who stand for social justice and human rights. This crude act of intimidation by the state needs to be condemned by all and we appeal to the Chief Minister of Kerala ensure that the Kerala police to withdraw these false and malicious charges immediately.
Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker, Mumbai
Anjali Monteiro, TISS, Mumbai
K.P. Jayasankar, TISS, Mumbai
Nivedita Menon, JNU, New Delhi
Rahul Roy, Filmmaker, New Delhi
Saba Dewan, Filmmaker, New Delhi
Shilpa Phadke, TISS, Mumbai
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Human rights activist, Mumbai
Shohini Ghosh, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Amar Kanwar, Filmmaker, New Delhi
Ajay Bhardwaj, Filmmaker, New Delhi
Anivar Aravind, IT Engineer, Bangalore
Bishaldeb Halder, TISS, Mumbai
Charu Gargi, Filmmaker, Estonia
Lynne Henry, Filmmaker, Mumbai
P Baburaj, Film maker, Trivandrum
Pankaj Rishi Kumar, Filmmaker, Mumbai
Rakesh Sharma, Filmmaker, Mumbai-Goa
Sanjay Mohan, Journalist, New Delhi
Shoba V. Ghosh, Mumbai University
Suhasini Mulay, Filmmaker, Mumbai
Suma Josson, Filmmaker, Mumbai
Vivek Monteiro, Trade Unionist, Mumbai
Yousuf Saeed, Filmmaker, New Delhi
( If you agree add your endorsements in comment section )
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Media Relations (626) 302-2255
Investor Relations Contact: Scott Cunningham (626) 302-2540
Southern California Edison Announces Plans to
Retire San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
Company Will Continue its Work with State Agencies on Electric Grid Reliability
ROSEMEAD, Calif. (June 7, 2013) — Southern California Edison (SCE) has decided to permanently
retire Units 2 and 3 of its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
“SONGS has served this region for over 40 years,” said Ted Craver, Chairman and CEO of Edison
International, parent company of SCE, “but we have concluded that the continuing uncertainty about
when or if SONGS might return to service was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to
plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs.”
Both SONGS units have been shut down safely since January 2012. Unit 2 was taken out of service
January 9, 2012, for a planned routine outage. Unit 3 was safely taken offline January 31, 2012, after
station operators detected a small leak in a tube inside a steam generator manufactured by Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries (MHI). Two steam generators manufactured by MHI were installed in Unit 2 in 2009 and
two more were installed in Unit 3 in 2010, one of which developed the leak.
In connection with the decision, SCE estimates that it will record a charge in the second quarter of
between $450 million and $650 million before taxes ($300 million – $425 million after tax), in accordance
with accounting requirements.
After months of analysis and tests, SCE submitted a restart plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) in October 2012. SCE proposed to safely restart Unit 2 at a reduced power level (70%) for an
initial period of approximately five months. That plan was based on work done by engineering groups
from three independent firms with expertise in steam generator design and manufacturing.
The NRC has been reviewing SCE’s plans for restart of Unit 2 for the last eight months, during which
several public meetings have been held. A recent ruling by an adjudicatory arm of the NRC, the Atomic
Safety and Licensing Board, creates further uncertainty regarding when a final decision might be made on
restarting Unit 2. Additional administrative processes and appeals could result in delay of more than a
year. During this period, the costs of maintaining SONGS in a state of readiness to restart and the costs
to replace the power SONGS previously provided would continue. Moreover, it is uneconomic for SCE
and its customers to bear the long-term repair costs for returning SONGS to full power operation without
restart of Unit 2. SCE has concluded that efforts are better focused on planning for the replacement
generation and transmission resources which will be required for grid reliability.
“Looking ahead,” said Ron Litzinger, SCE’s President, “we think that our decision to retire the units will
eliminate uncertainty and facilitate orderly planning for California’s energy future.”
Litzinger noted that the company has worked with the California Independent System Operator, the
California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission in planning for Southern
California’s energy needs and will continue to do so. 2 of 2
“The company is already well into a summer reliability program and has completed numerous
transmission upgrades in addition to those completed last year,” Litzinger said. “Thanks to consumer
conservation, energy efficiency programs and a moderate summer, the region was able to get through
last summer without electricity shortages. We hope for the same positive result again this year,” Litzinger
added, “although generation outages, soaring temperatures or wildfires impacting transmission lines
would test the system.”
In connection with the retirement of Units 2 and 3, San Onofre anticipates reducing staff over the next
year from approximately 1,500 to approximately 400 employees, subject to applicable regulatory
approvals. The majority of such reductions are expected to occur in 2013.
“This situation is very unfortunate,” said Pete Dietrich, SCE’s Chief Nuclear Officer, noting that “this is an
extraordinary team of men and women. We will treat them fairly.” SCE will work to ensure a fair process
for this transition, and will work with the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and the International
Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) on transition plans for the employees they represent.
SCE also recognizes its continuing safety responsibilities as it moves toward decommissioning of the
units. SCE’s top priority will be to ensure a safe, orderly, and compliant retirement of these units. Full
retirement of the units prior to decommissioning will take some years in accordance with customary
practices. Actual decommissioning will take many years until completion. Such activities will remain
subject to the continued oversight of the NRC.
SCE intends to pursue recovery of damages from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the supplier of the
replacement steam generators, as well as recovery of amounts under applicable insurance policies.
For updates, please visit http://www.SONGScommunity.com, or follow us on Twitter at
http://www.twitter.com/SCE_SONGS and on http://www.facebook.com/SCE.
San Onofre is jointly owned by SCE (78.21 percent), San Diego Gas & Electric (20 percent) and the city
of Riverside (1.79 percent).
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest
electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-
square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
PRESS RELEASE FROM MAITREE
Date: 07th June 2013, Kolkata
We are writing to you on behalf of Maitree, a women’s rights network of 60 organisations and individual activists based in West Bengal. We strongly condemn the comments made by the Advocate General of West Bengal on 4th June 2013 at the Calcutta High Court regarding the State Election Commission.
The Advocate General’s comment: “The State Election Commission is behaving like a beautiful lady asking for this and that. It is making arbitrary and whimsical desires. Some unreasonable” is sexist and stereotypes women. Instead of legal arguments, the Advocate General distracts from the important political issues and tries to diminish the concerns raised by the Election Commission by resorting to trivial and unparliamentary language to attack his opponent. By doing so, the Advocate General joins a long list of public figures in the country who have made denigrating comments about women which go against the grains of equality and justice.
The comment should be examined within the larger context of increasing violation of women’s rights in recent times. If the AG of a state can make such a denigrating comment about women, it sends a wrong signal to the public at large threatening the very safety and security of women. This is most unfortunate since one looks to the higher judiciary to uphold values stated in the Constitution. Thus his comment is far from being humorous as claimed by him and reinforces deep-seated gender bias. We condemn this as an affront to the dignity of a woman.
We demand public apology from him immediately.