Keeping Our Lights On and Nukes Off – A Plan – By Jerry Collamer

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Pipes, Barely Two Years Old, Are Leaking, Rotting: What’s Next?

There’s no way on God’s green earth, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) can fix 19,454 (per dome) rotting pipes, without a plumbing overhaul of nuclear proportions, keeping its creaky ol’double boilers shut down for years, or maybe decades. Good. The astonishing numbers of pipes inside SONGS, reveals the infinite plumbing complexity required when converting water into steam via nuclear fission. Rube Goldberg channeling Jules Verne could not have created a more complex maze of tubes, pipes, valves, chambers, you name it, just to create steam?

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's pipes are leaking

San Onofre, the nuclear power plant labeled most troubled workplace in the USA, finds thousands of new pipes in the aged nuker are cracking, leaking, aka rotting.

SONGS is a tired, old steam generator. With nukes, “tired” equates to deadly. All nuke plants are steam generators. Big, scary, expensive, society ending steam generators, should something go haywire / Fukushima and Chernobyl. Example: 19,454 potential decaying pipes inside just one SONGS dome times 2-domes equals 38,908 potentially compromised pipes.

A plumbing dilemma too hot, and too big to comprehend. But not too big to fail. And failing they are: SONGS pipes are rotting from the inside. That’s why SONGS must never be restarted — EVER! Its innards are shot. SONGS’ internal organs have cancer. Reason #2 to keep SONGS off: when SONGS is switched-off, it’s not pooping out 500lbs of nuke-waste everyday, & deadly nuke-waste already stored there (repeat slowly: “4,000 tons”). A waste-dump, hoarding the same deadly, unstable poisons that blew Fukushima to kingdom come.

FYI: Fukushima’s still melting. So is Chernobyl. They will melt forever. With nukes, you hear the word “forever” a lot. And not in a good way. The Really, Really, Bad News for San Clemente, Camp Pendleton, or anyplace 50-miles from SONGS is — SONGS was never designed to be a nuke-waste depository, overflowing in the deadliest, radioactive concoction known to man, woman or child.

Which brings us to this curious SONGS’ conundrum: while indeed switched-off, San Clemente’s lights remain on! We’re not suffering power loss. According to SONGS’ PR guy, the reason we’re not power-less, with SONGS switched-off, is because: San Clemente uses less electricity in winter. And now it’s winter! Hmm, so in winter, we don’t need SONGS? This is life affirming news.

Fact is, even in our warm(er), sunny season, SONGS provides Southern California with a meager amount of electricity. The amount is debatable. SONGS’s PR guy claims we get 19% from SONGS. We do? If true, that means we get 81% of our power from elsewhere, all of the time. The 81% that keeps us aglow, all of the time, with or without nuclear power. With SONGS switched-off (like now), San Clemente really is the perfect place to be. Post Fukushima, most folks here would rather SONGS stay off.

leaking pipes...let's get outta here...

Life Outside the Thunder Domes: Something's Wrong at SONGS - the plumbing...gulp...

As well, if SONGS only matters here in summer, when AC, spas and heated swimming pools suck more electricity, we can do what we do when water gets scarce: we Conserve!  Folks can open their windows (what a concept), and swim in a cool pool (for 2-days a month) to keep SONGS switched-off, forever. Don’t ya’think? How comforting, never to worry about SONGS again — if it stays off. We know we can live without nuclear power. We’re doing it now, comfortably. But there’s no guarantee, we can live with nukes when SONGS is on.

For all its imposing facade along Interstate-5, coupled with its ongoing barrage of negative workplace hoopla when SONGS is cranking full steam ahead, the most SONGS puts out is a measly 5.5% of what it takes to keep Cal lit. SONGS just ain’t worth the worry. Let’s keep SONGS switched-off, and live happily ever after, here.

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About Jerry Collamer

Jerry Collamer is a creative communications specialist. Backgrounds in National Advertising and Television Communication. Writer. Artist. Native Californian with a world-view career arch. Pragmatic and common sense urban activist -- co-founder of Wild Heritage Planners.