OC Nuke Apathy – and a QUIZ on San Onofre




The earthquake and tsunamis that devastated parts of Japan earlier this year triggered a well publicized nuclear plant disaster there. At one point the government publicly recommended that everyone within 50 miles of a cluster of nuke plants evacuate due to radiation leakage. Here in Orange County if a major problem developed at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station just south of San Clemente and such an evacuation was ordered that would mean all of Orange County, a large part of San Diego County, and parts of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside County would have to be evacuated.

Think of that – every home, business, hospital, school, nursing home – everything and everyone would have to be evacuated. Millions and millions of people told to get out, many requiring help to do so. How do you spell c-h-a-o-s? Yet, few here seem to question the wisdom of allowing the San Onofre Plant to continue to operate, even with recently publicized deficiencies found by federal inspectors.

The Associated Press has just published a comprehensive report titled “Populations around US nuke plants soar”. It begins with this telling paragraph:

As America’s nuclear power plants have aged, the once-rural area around them have become far more crowded and much more difficult to evacuate. Yet government and industry have paid little heed, even as plants are running at higher power and posing more danger in the event of an accident.”

To that we should add – “and the same is true of the residents of Orange County.”

The AP story reports that there are 104 operating reactors in the U.S., most are aging and that the industry and regulators have extended their lives beyond what was originally planned. The story says they are prone to breakdowns that could produce accidents. In fact, the story says that federal regulators, working in concert with the industry, have repeatedly weakened or failed to enforce safety standards so old reactors can keep operating. It notes that within just 10 miles of the San Onofre plant the population has grown by 283 percent since 1980.

Why isn’t the existence of a nuke plant that could trigger a disaster a high priority concern to Orange County’s 3 million residents? Beats me – but I must close for now – the Real Housewives of Orange County TV show is about to begin I don’t want to miss it. I’ll worry about the nuke in our back yard later —-


Quiz on SONGS (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station)

[I just got this in the e-mail from a friend, Ryan Beamsley – ED.]

Pass or Fail…
  1. What size earthquake was SONGS originally designed to handle?
  2. How large of an earthquake is expected in our region?
  3. How much stronger is a 6.0 than an 8.0 on the Richter Scale?
  4. How tall is our tsunami wall above high tide?
  5. How big was the wave that hit the tsunami wall in Japan?
  6. How many people would need to be evacuated if SONGS was headed for a meltdown?
  7. Who is most vulnerable to radiation exposure?
  8. What percent of our electricity in California comes from SONGS?

If you passed this test, please send an email to gary@sanclementegreen.org to find out how you can help & stay informed about the SONGS shutdown.

If you failed this test, please send an email to CityHall@san-clemente.org to find out how to improve your score & voice your opinion.

If you cheated, please send an email to beamsley@cagreens.org for disciplinary action.

ANSWERS: 1) 6.0;  2) 7.5 to 8.0;  3) 100 times greater;  4) 14 feet;  5) at least 33 feet;  6) 7.4 million;  7) children and pregnant women;  8) 7.5%

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.