San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today (September 15) voted unanimously to write a letter to the United States Department of Energy requesting the removal of the nuclear waste dump at the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant. It is close to Interstate 5 and four railroad lines and abuts a heavily populated area.

Former San Diego city attorney Mike Aguirre presented a nine-minute presentation showing what went wrong at San Onofre — in particular, the failure of a piece of equipment that was supposed to last 40 years and failed in one year.

Aguirre noted that the earthquake at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, spread radiation as far as 20 miles. A map showed how much of Southern California, particularly San Diego's North County, would be affected by a similar disaster. The Fukushima nuclear accident investigation commission concluded that the Fukushima disaster was "manmade." After the 1970s oil shock, Japan turned massively to nuclear power. "Nuclear power became an unstoppable force," said the commission, noting, "A tightly knit elite with enormous financial resources had diminishing regard for anything 'not invented here.'"

In an interview, Aguirre said he sees similar forces at work in California. The California Public Utilities Commission has long been corrupt, as the unseemly decision to pass the costs of San Onofre's failure to ratepayers through illegal secret meetings shows. Southern California Edison, the majority owner, has Southern California legislators in its pocket, said Aguirre. The legislature is doing little to reform the commission, despite much media coverage of the corruption.

Aguirre greatly blames the Democratic Party, which refuses to do anything that would upset Democratic governor Jerry Brown. Aguirre said he doubted the city council would pass such a measure because it leans Democratic. Thus, the hubris that made the Fukushima disaster "manmade" is also in evidence over matters related to San Onofre, Aguirre said. The blame belongs in Brown's office, said Aguirre, a Democrat.

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AlexClarke Sept. 16, 2015 @ 5:42 a.m.

Another no brainer move by the idiot Supes. They know full well that there is no place to ship the waste to. By huffing and puffing they will look good to the moron voters who keep electing them. While there is good reason to have a disposal site for nuclear waste and if there was one the NIMBY's would never let it be shipped through their community. Nuclear waste is never safe no matter what happens to it. Assuming that there is no catastrophic event at SONGS the nuclear waste will be there long after our great grand children are dead.


Don Bauder Sept. 16, 2015 @ 8 a.m.

AlexClarke: I suggest that San Diego move the nuclear waste to the city that gets the Chargers -- right next door to the stadium housing the team. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke Sept. 16, 2015 @ 8:39 a.m.

Maybe they can move the nuclear waste to the site of the new Chargers city and then build the stadium on top of it.


Don Bauder Sept. 16, 2015 @ 1:18 p.m.

AlexClarke: Well, the Carson site sits atop of a waste dump. How do we know it is not a nuclear waste dump? Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 16, 2015 @ 10:54 a.m.

If something seems too good to be true . . .

Nuclear power is far from free, and the highly-vaunted, literally worshiped Technology God is powerless before E=MC2.


Don Bauder Sept. 16, 2015 @ 1:20 p.m.

Twister: If world leaders don't do anything about nuclear proliferation, we may find out whether your adage is in fact true. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 17, 2015 @ 8:03 a.m.

Are you insinuating that Homo sapiens may be the most unwise of the species on earth?


Don Bauder Sept. 17, 2015 @ 9:25 p.m.

Twister: I don't think we are the most unwise species. In fact, we are the wisest. But we came out of the jungle. We are violent and hostile. 'Twas ever thus. Count up how many years in recorded history there has been peace. Few. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 17, 2015 @ 8:08 a.m.

"The California Public Utilities Commission has long been corrupt . . ." --Don Bauder

  1. Who is in jail?

  2. Who should be in jail?

  3. Who has been charged?

  4. If not, why not?



Don Bauder Sept. 17, 2015 @ 9:27 p.m.

Twister: Several should be in prison. I doubt they will go. Why ask me why they will not go to the slammer? You know full well why they won't. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 17, 2015 @ 8:19 a.m.

"A map showed how much of Southern California, particularly San Diego's North County, would be affected by a similar disaster." --Don Bauder

  1. Presumably based on a 20-mile radius?

  2. What scientific evidence supports this presumption?

  3. How long will the contamination remain dangerous to life?

  4. What variables are likely to cause deviations from the 20-mile radius"

  5. Is there any way that the statement is likely to distort the reality? For example, what might happen if one or more tank cars filled with, say sodium nitrate, diesel oil, and a capacitor wired to a cell phone were to explode adjacent to the stored material?


Don Bauder Sept. 17, 2015 @ 9:28 p.m.

Twister: Good observation. Of course we don't know. We can study the nuclear disasters such as Fukushima and Three Mile Island and learn something. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Sept. 18, 2015 @ 1:57 p.m.

Must be a really interesting capacitor to do that kind of damage


Don Bauder Sept. 18, 2015 @ 6:57 p.m.

Murphyjunk: I don't know about you, but I don't find capacitors interesting -- probably because I don't understand them. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 18, 2015 @ 10:22 p.m.

All that's needed is a tiny spark. The capacitor doesn't do the damage; the explosion it sets off does. One tank car would be equal to 40 or 50 Ryder truck bombs used in the Oklahoma City bombing. Inspection of tank cars is very spotty. A lot stuff is smuggled across the Mexican border this way. There would be a "small" bay* where San Onofre is should a stunt like this be pulled off. The result would be a very dirty bomb and a large area of fallout. The fallout from the waste itself would have a half-life of many, many thousands of years, while the sodium itself would have a very short half-life. One thing about such a dirty bomb is that nobody could predict the results with any kind of accuracy.

The problem here is that we would not be dealing with a "regular" meltdown, but the blasting of nuclear waste into the air, resulting it a very large plume of radioactive dust in addition to the deposition of heavier particles of large amounts of highly radioactive materials closer to the facility. So "studying" nuclear plant meltdowns and leaks (does this fact cause pause?) just might be more misleading than revealing. And, is this not the sort of thing that one would be better off studying via sound theory rather than empirical noodling? Homo sapiens "rides" again--right for the cliff. "Sapiens," indeed! (Maybe we can't all be trumps, but nothing keeps us from being chumps.)

The potential consequences far outweigh the cost of at least burying the stuff out of reach of nutcases like McVeigh and Nichols. Not to mention foreign terrorists, who are possibly more skilled at their craft than our own home-grown nutcases. As far as I know, the government agency whistle-blowers who divulged this possibility have disappeared—at least I haven’t heard anything else about them. But they were “disciplined.”

See next post for footnote.


Twister Sept. 18, 2015 @ 10:31 p.m.

Footnote for previous post:

*We came very close to having our own new “bay” created right here in “River City.” The “engineers” who did the grading plans for the Torrey Science Park (why is that ironic?) designed a drainage plan for the site that was supposed to turn runoff around more than 180 degrees via a “lined ditch” and dump it into a canyon just above the Gulf General Atomics facility at the bottom of the hill. A rain came and the resulting runoff breached the “ditch” and cut a small Grand Canyon of a gully down the hillside. At the top of the “mesa” where the post near-disaster meeting of the City of San Diego “engineers” and the real engineers and scientists from General Atomics was held, one of the latter pointed at the alluvium that was spread out over the paved yard in front of a large steel building, illustrating where the flow of water went, and said, “If that water had gotten into that building, there would be a large bay where we’re standing now.” There were enough chemicals stored in that building that would go unstable upon contact with water to have created a very large explosion. I suspect the man was not exaggerating, but even if he was, the circle of destruction would have been very great. Good thing it was a light rain, eh?


Don Bauder Sept. 19, 2015 @ 8:22 a.m.

Twister: What do you suppose will happen when the El Nino hits? Will the same engineers be in charge? Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 19, 2015 @ 2:29 p.m.

I looked at the site on the satellite map (Google has it fogged out), and it looks like some of the evidence may still be there. After almost half a century!

I have no idea what present-day engineers are like, but judging from some of the recent public works I've seen, I'm worried. In those days some of the "engineers" didn't even have degrees, but today I imagine that they have at least a BS. But even so, some engineers, especially "civil" engineers, operate a lot of the time on "best practices" and intuition, and eschew analysis as much as they can. I was driving along 805 today, and saw the new "straw wattles" (net tubes filled with straw) placed on the new freeway slopes (for "erosion control"), a ludicrous waste of the taxpayers' money--nothing but window-dressing. Drainage? Look at where the flooding occurs. When these silly things got started, a CalTrans engineer's wife "owned" the company so the true owner couldn't get nailed for conflict of interest.

Best, Tw


Don Bauder Sept. 19, 2015 @ 8:16 a.m.

Twister: You haven't mentioned earthquake. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 19, 2015 @ 2:36 p.m.

Nor sea-level rise, nor Tsunami, nor combinations of these with storm surges and high tides. "Piffle," say the experts--HIGHLY unlikely. And, of course they are right--the odds are very small. But do we want to pull the handle?

At what elevation was the waste stored at Fuk u shima? At what elevation is the waste stored at San Onofre? What is the "certified" useful life of the containers vs the toxic life of the waste?

Too many questions, yes, but only a sample.


Don Bauder Sept. 19, 2015 @ 7:21 p.m.

Twister: I don't know at what elevation the waste was stored at Fukushima. See, I spelled it correctly. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 20, 2015 @ 7:27 a.m.

Twister: You look purty nonetheless. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 20, 2015 @ 7:26 a.m.

Twister: Foreign nutcases are called terrorists. Ours are called disturbed persons. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 21, 2015 @ 7:58 a.m.

Twister: A famous coach was in charge of a hapless expansion team. He was asked after the game, "What did you think of the offense's execution?" He replied, "I am all in favor of it." Best, Don Bauder


CaptD Sept. 17, 2015 @ 4:04 p.m.

Don - Imagine if the people affected by these rate increases actually DEMANDED that they NOT be made (as it is now >99% of ratepayers just roll over and do nothing) while allowing groups like UCAN that are supposed to be watchdog's of the the Utility and the CPUC actually profit from having too-cozy relationships with them.

Ratepayers are getting stuck with the $5-$10 Billion #SanOnofreGate * screwup by SCE that was approved by the CPUC and they will not even challenge their elected Leaders to stop taking Big Utility donations if they want to be reelected...

Ratepayers deserve what they get, since they accept what is happening to them instead of doing anything about these rate rip-offs. The people at the bottom of the income scale will now have to pay far more for their energy (and Water) while Big Users rates will decrease! This is part of the ongoing process of making living in San Diego ever more expensive, so that lower income residents will be forced to relocate elsewhere else making room for new wealthier residents. The City of SD is doing their part by pushing DENSITY increases, so that they can grow their tax base by converting single family properties to multi-family properties and/or even mega-family developments. Every person that leaves San Diego will be replaced by one or most likely many more new people that will each pay far more Taxes (unless they transfer their Prop. 13 benefits) and far higher Utility & Water bills. Paying for Trash removal that is now free will be the next new "bill" that will be forced upon us as our elected Leaders seek to squeeze us so that they can be enriched with ever more donations from all the Big Business ("Public" Utilities, Sport Org.'s and Other "New" Businesses) that each want a piece of the San Diego "pie" that is up for sale to the highest bidder.

Enjoy living in SD while you can because it is rapidly changing into the West Coast version of New Jersey, where Politicians control almost every facet of your life, as we morph into a great place to visit (tourist destination) but too expensive to live, unless you are very well off.

  • *The new hashtag that will allow you to keep up to date on the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff.

Also posted at


Don Bauder Sept. 17, 2015 @ 9:31 p.m.

CaptD: Yes, utility ratepayers permit themselves to be raped. I find it interesting that large corporations are not fighting for lower rates. After all, the corporations pay them, too. Thus, the corporations that don't fight higher rates are cheating their own shareholders. I think it's the old boys' club at work. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 19, 2015 @ 8:20 a.m.

CaptD: There is a lot of corruption in San Diego, but the metro area has a long way to slide before it matches New Jersey or Chicago. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Sept. 19, 2015 @ 8:33 a.m.

long way to slide, but the slope here is steep and slippery


CaptD Sept. 23, 2015 @ 12:27 p.m.

Don & Murphyjunk: ... And covered with Lots and Lots of Grease Money


Twister Sept. 24, 2015 @ 8:54 p.m.

Organizing intellectuals is like herding cats.


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