Monday, June 10, 2013

A Victory for Safety and Common Sense

If you follow California politics, you will undoubtedly be aware that the inactive San Onofre nuclear power plant will be permanently closed and hopefully safely decommissioned at a tremendous cost over the course of the next few years. This plant has continuously supplied electric power from its activation in 1968 until January of 2012. There was never a serious accident or threat to workers or neighboring communities during that time. The only real ecological damage done by the facility, other than the enormous whole in the beach and the blight of an enormous structure on the coast was to raise the temperature of the adjacent ocean waters in what was undoubtedly once considered a very innovative approach to cooling the vast byproduct of heat associated with reactor power. The relatively uneventful and small leak of radiation from brand new yet defective steam pipes manufactured by Mitsubishi late in 2011, had it occurred in an earlier time of lesser awareness and a more complacent political climate, very likely might not have caused a permanent closure, but only a short period of repair and renovation. Because this all happened on the heels of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, issues of the safety of San Onofre were first and foremost on the minds of Californians. Concerned Californians at the recent meetings of the California Public Utilities Commission as well as protesters did not forget the Fukushima disaster. I recall after watching the horrifying tsunami and reading about the citywide release of dangerous amounts of radiation, one of the first things I did was to look up earthquake history near San Clemente and Oceanside California. Of course, our local republican congressman, Brian Bilbray advocated bringing the poison fire steam generator back on-line at the earliest possible day.

Here are some of the things that I found. The San Onofre nuclear power plant is located at the northwest corner of the County of San Diego at approximately 33.4⁰ latitude and -117.6⁰ longitude, just south of Nixon’s Western White House in San Clemente on the northern tip of the twenty miles of coastline occupied by the mostly undeveloped Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton maybe about fifty miles NNW of beloved La Jolla and UCSD. We often laughed at the huge “titties” of the radiation containment domes, clearly visible from that desolate stretch of I-5. This is obviously in a very active earthquake corridor. The largest local earthquakes have occurred in the Mojave desert, but several dangerous earthquakes have been centered right on the coast in nearby metropolitan Los Angeles, notably the devastating Northridge Earthquake which miraculously occurred at 4:31 a.m., January 17, 1994 on the federal holiday, MLK Jr. Day, thusly limiting loss of life. Read for yourself about the widespread damage done to parking structures, tall buildings, homes and freeway overpasses. This led to the earthquake retro-fitting of every freeway overpass and bridge in Southern California. These L.A. quakes are easily felt throughout the southland to the Mexican border. I live within bow and arrow distance of the famous San Andreas fault, but have little to fear because there is no subduction of techtonic plates in a north-south running faultline. I was much more threatened by the possibility of nuclear radiation leaking from San Onofre just over fifty miles away from my home in the event of a large offshore earthquake. Here is my evidence.

September 7, 1984 an offshore earthquake with a magnitude of 4.8, the first entry of the table I cited, occurred at 32.94⁰ latitude and -117.81⁰ longitude, approximately 31.7 miles due west of Torrey Pines State Beach, at a distance of about 33.3 miles from the failed San Onofre nuclear reactors. Sure, nothing we know of happened to the facility. Units two and three were on-line for the second of the thirty-eight years they provided electricity in 1984. But no one can say what might have happened anytime in the next one hundred years in the event a major Southern California earthquake anywhere within fifty miles of the facility.


  1. Wikipedia notes that those repairs you speak of took 10 years and cost $671 million... so that is money flushed down the toilet. Not that I think they should keep the reactors going. Wikipedia also says the plant "received multiple citations over issues such as failed emergency generators, improperly wired batteries and falsified fire safety data". So I guess you're lucky there wasn't a serious accident. There still is, however, "4,000 tons of radioactive waste are stored at San Onofre", so this will continue to pose a threat to Californians. IMO all nuclear power should be phased out. Nuke power is just too dangerous.

  2. I put up pictures of Angus on my last blog post

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  4. Why did you delete your comment Dennis? (the "d" in dmarks stands for "Dennis".) Even though it is gone, I know what Dennis said due to signing up for email notifications. The message Dennis wrote said he agreed with what I wrote. I'm guessing he deleted it because he remembered Will Hart is pro-nuclear energy.

    Dennis can't ever disagree with anything his buddy Will thinks. He bends over backward to please Will Hart because Hart does the same for him (Hart NEVER says anything to push back against anything Dennis says no matter how outrageous Dennis' comment may be).

  5. No, I had a typing mistake in it, and I did not want to bother to correct it. I stand by what I said, but not the mistake.

    "Hart NEVER says anything to push back against anything Dennis says no matter how outrageous Dennis' comment may be"

    Not true, actually. You have no evidence of this: I've never tested Hart on this by making any outrageous comments.

  6. Dennis makes outrageous comments on the Contra O'Reilly blog constantly. Most recently he said Trayvon Martin was a "drug-crazed berzerker" and "a felon who should have been behind bars". Then Dennis said Trayvon was a "bad guy". But all these slanderous charges are totally false.

    Obviously Dennis feels safe disagreeing with Will here, as this blog is one Will has never visited. Although I'm not quite buying Dennis' excuse, as he could have rewritten his comment easily. In any case, Will has come out in favor of nuclear energy on his blog, and Dennis said nothing in disagreement there. IMO it's because Dennis honors their "you kiss my ass, I'll kiss your's" agreement.

  7. That wasn't outageous, WD. Martin was found to have been abusing dangerous intoxicating substances, the abuse of which in his case was probably a felony in Florida. Committing felonies makes him a bad guy. If he has been in prison where he belonged things would have been better.

    Your one-way bromance with Will Hart is disturbing. I don't care if he sees my comment here. I am just not obsessed with him . Not everyone is like you.

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  9. Trayvon had no record! No charges, no conviction, yet Dennis brands him a felon and says "throw him in prison"?! That most certainly is OUTRAGEOUS. BTW, in Florida you have to be caught with 20 grams or more of marijuana for it to be a felony. There is no proof Trayvon ever had that much. Less than that is a misdemeanor... so a big FAIL on that claim.

    Also, Trayvon having marijuana in his system isn't proof he was "berserking". That is pure speculation. LOTS of kids experiment with drugs. You think they're all "bad guys"? IMO marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed just like alcohol.

    This is why the judge said Zimmerman's lawyers can NOT mention Trayvon having marijuana in his system during the trial. It would be highly prejudicial (Dennis already threw him in jail without charges or a trial). Trayvon was not a "bad guy". His marijuana use was actually not that uncommon.

    And YOU are the one involved in a bromance with Will Hart. The fact that I don't like him goes against the definition... so another FAIL there, Dennis.

  10. Drug abuse is a crime in Florida, WD. And you are smoking something if you think he wasn't a repeat offender. In any case, your crazy bias shows because you are referring to a quotation from me in which I criticized Zimmerman also.

  11. "Trayvon was not a "bad guy". His marijuana use was actually not that uncommon."

    Rape is common too, so is shoplifting. does that make it good?

    The fact is that this young man was so stupid and self destructive that he engaged in drug crimes. If he is not to blame, then his parents are for raising a bad kid.

  12. Drug use (no "abuse" proven) isn't a felony unless you're caught with more than 20 grams. You got that wrong but are trying to weasel out of admitting it by switching your language from "felony" to "crime".

    And the FACT remains that Trayvon had no record. He was never charged, let alone convicted of a a damn thing. And once you die you can't be convicted of anything (Ken Lay died before trial and the judge dismissed the charges).

    No "crazy bias" from me, as I mentioned you called BOTH Trayvon and Zimmerman "bad guys" in the post on my blog. What is crazy is you using the word "criticize". Your outrageous comments go far beyond "criticizing".

    Drug use has been decriminalized in several states, whereas rape and shoplifting NEVER will be. They can NOT be compared. This is ANOTHER outrageous comment from you.

    Trayvon is not to blame. He had every right to be where he was and not be stalked and killed by Zimmerman.

  13. dmarks,

    You seem like a wonderfully intelligent individual. Where does this inflammatory language about Trayvon Martin come from? I know! Your poisonous FOX News and your crazy right-wing bloggy friends. You are going to be proved wrong on this one. My comment on a popular gun blog after watching a portion of the trial today.

    This is going to be an explosive and riveting trial. By happenstance, I happened to be watching it live as the State of Florida examined their key witness, a neighbor, a lovely young black woman who was at home with her niece, niece's friend and I think her sister. She testified that she heard one or more persons or animals (lawyer's words) running along a pathway behind her townhouse in a particular direction, (left to right.) She was asked to describe what noise she heard behind her house. She replied, "It was not clearly distinguishable." It was either "No," or "Uhh." She then walked from her kitchen to her sliding glass door which opened to a common backyard. She said that she observed two individuals with their arms flailing while both were in a standing position. When she went back into her kitchen to turn off her stove, that's when she heard a shot. When she returned to the sliding glass door to see what had happened she testified that Martin was already lying on the ground face down and one other neighbor was peeking out of a window and a second had walked outside to ask Zimmerman if he needed him to call the police. This all happened in the space of less than one minute.

    Right now, Zimmerman's dickhead lawyer is attempting to discredit her testimony.


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