Two weeks ago, the California Public Utility Commission determined that Southern California electricity consumers will have to pay $3.3 billion for the closing and dismantling of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The plant shut down in 2012 after San Diego Gas & Electric installed new steam generators; a radiation leak led to the discovery of serious defects in the generators' tube-thingies. Ratepayers were outraged to find they had to pay for a plant that was not actually producing any electricity.
But, says CPUC spokesman Stan Chernobyl, the Commission understands the peoples' pain. Which is why, he says, "As the demolition proceeds, we will be sending ratepayers commemorative chunks of the plant's trademark twin domes as a token of our gratitude for their investment. Now, because of the damaged generators, it is possible that the rocks will be slightly irradiated. But in a touching reparative gesture, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactured the defective generators, has agreed to provide us with individual containment units that also serve as handsome displays. So there need be no concern. You and your family will be able to see your rate dollars at work for generations to come."