Next SONGS “Community Engagement Panel” slated for November 29th.
Some wags have called it the “Community EnRagement Panel” for its generally obstinate refusal to answer questions without consulting with upper management … but in theory, its purpose is to engage you.
Four times a year, Southern California Edison, the highly profitable owner of the failed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, (SONGS) holds an allegedly interactive public relations meeting called the SONGS Community Engagement Panel, or “CEP.” The putative purpose of the CEP meetings are to educate and inform the public, and to also demonstrate Edison’s commitment to “Safety, Stewardship, and Engagement.”
More of the same old Blah, blah, woof-woof
Okay, that’s the stated purpose. The real purpose is to persuade the public and politicians that Edison is a good corporate citizen, and that nuclear waste is completely safe.
The costs of these large public meetings are paid for by ratepayers, as a part of Edison’s $4.2 billion publicly-funded decommissioning budget. The panel members are unpaid “volunteers.”
The events are carefully controlled by the Chair and moderator of the Community Engagement Panel, Dr. David G. Victor, whose stentorian voice dominates the meetings.
Dr. Victor is a respected professor and sociologist, whose profile sports a spectacular photo of nuclear cooling towers belching carbon-free steam into a cloudless sky. The Community Engagement Panel consists of a carefully vetted panel of volunteers, most of whom are reluctant to ask tough questions.
For the most part, the members of the CEP are a part of Edison’s cozy “nuclear family,” but sometimes representatives have expressed their dismay publicly.
A recent example of the growing skepticism of some of the CEP members is this editorial opinion by CEP Member Gary Brown of Coast Keeper. We invite you to read it.
Public Watchdogs has also produced this brief introductory video to the Community Engagement Panel.
Recently, one of the members of the Public Watchdogs’ Board of Directors, Pam Patterson, was removed from the Community Engagement Panel for asking questions that some people did not like. Here are few of the reports on Ms. Patterson’s departure:
San Diego Union Tribune: Pam Patterson, Member of San Onofre nuclear plant’s Community Engagement Panel replaced
San Diego Reader: Edison’s San Onofre panel ejects voice of reason, removes Pam Patterson – San Diego Reader