San Diego's San Onofre nuclear plant isn't melting down. It isn't leaking huge amounts of radiation (that we know of). Heck, it's not even generating power! That's because the steam generators Southern California Edison installed at San Onofre broke down just two years into their expected 20 year service life. They can't be fixed, of course, and now the whole plant is mothballed, because you don't want moths eating holes through your ruinous nuclear debacle, that's just common sense.


Basically, Edison screwed up, and Mitsubishi, who built the steam generators, screwed up. A lot of people screwed up! So obviously Edison and Mitsubishi admitted they screwed up, and they made their investors eat their losses, and they didn't try to pass the cost of their screwups onto consumers, and they didn't engage in an infantilizing, campaign-style PR blitz of half-truths and misinformation, right?

Hahahaha, of course not! They did the opposite of that! Fill us with rage, LA Times:

"Edison is asking the [Public Utilities Commission] to allow it to recover about $2 billion for its capital expenditures alone through 2017, including a return on its capital investment of more than 5.5%. The PUC would have to decide how to apportion that sum between ratepayers and shareholders."

Oh, so Edison wants to make a 5.5% return on their capital investment! That's interesting, because from here it looks like their capital investment was an enormous failure! How nice would it be to get paid money to horrendously and irretrievably fuck something up? Pretty nice, we bet, but because we are not incorporated Americans, we don't get paid when we do that. But it's OK, they sent this nice patriotic letter reminding everyone that it's their duty as collectivized Americans to give Edison more money:

"The letter's key point, buried beneath layers of ad-speak, was this: You, the customer, should bear a share of those costs. "The American utility system works because everybody is in it together," Edison said. "Everyone shares the benefits and the costs," a line which I believe was part of the original lyrics to the song "Kumbaya.""

Haha, we like this writer! And in case you were worried that the Mitt Romnies who invested their money with Edison might have to take a loss, like you do when you pick a bad stock, fear not:

"The investors, Edison said in a filing last week with the PUC, deserve to be "made whole for their original investment over the course of the [plant's] estimated useful life" — for San Onofre, that period originally ran to 2022."

Brilliant. Obviously the only way this could be better is if we got rid of shit like Public Utilities Commissions, so Edison wouldn't have to spend so much money convincing people it's their patriotic duty to take it in the rectum when Edison screws up. So wasteful!

Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that "Japan is poised to declare a toxic water leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant a level 3 "serious incident," its gravest warning since the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami that sent three reactors into meltdown." Basically what's happening here is what everyone said would happen from the start: the water that's continuously pumped into the destroyed reactors to keep them cool is leaking into the ocean. Said Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority: "The current situation is at the point where more surveillance won't be enough to keep the accidents from happening."

No shit, you mean standing around watching the disaster spiral out of control is not going to stop the disaster from spiraling out of control? We assume a translation error, or maybe just bureau-speak gone wild. But don't worry:

"Even subsistence fishermen, who eat far more fish than the typical American, would receive a dose of radiation from the cesium isotopes released in the meltdown equivalent to a single dental X-ray, Fisher and his colleagues reported. That translates to a "worst-case scenario" of two additional cancer deaths for every 10 million people in that category, he said."

Awesome. And we're sure radioactive cesium-134 and -137 are totally different from mercury, which is another heavy metal that accumulates in fish over time as they eat stuff that's lower on the food chain. Because we like fish.

As to the argument that nuclear power is safer than coal: Imagine three revolvers. One, called "COAL" has 5 bullets in it, the one called "NUCLEAR" has one, and the last, "WIND & SOLAR" has zero. Which one do you want to play Russian roulette with? Weirder commenters need not answer.

[LA Times / CNN]

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