by Shepard Ambellas
May 24, 2013
A rather bizarre spoof video featuring top staffers at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Station has made its way full circle into the press, causing even more controversy for the already troubled facility.
The unfinished video came at the cost of $800 and has gotten some concerned.
The mock Star Trek video was shot on site, in a simulator at a training event in 2010. However, the timeframe the video was filmed in falls close in line with dates that the plant was experiencing troubles, reported by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
KTLA reported, “The company told KGTV that the video was shot for an employee recognition event on a budget of $800, but was never completed.
In the video, entitled “SONGS Trek,” the crew discusses issues presented by “unusual space fabric” the ship has encountered.
A man dressed as Spock tells the Captain Kirk — played by the plant’s former chief nuclear officer, Ross Ridenoure, “If we remain in this state for much longer, we run a risk of equipment failure and crew demoralization. It is imperative we get to star base to replace our uranium dioxide crystals.”
To some this is in bad taste considering the problems the plant had. An excerpt from the LA Times reads, “San Onofre had new steam generators installed in 2010 and 2011. In January 2012, a steam generator tube leaked a small amount of radioactive steam, leading to the discovery that the tubes were wearing down much more quickly than expected due to an unusual type of vibration.
Edison has requested permission from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to restart one of the plant’s two units at 70% power, but it remains unclear when the NRC will decide on the plan. The company has signaled that it could choose to retire the plant completely rather than carry out extensive repairs if the NRC does not give the go-ahead.
An NRC spokesman told KGTV that there were no safety issues with the filming of the spoof.
Nevertheless, San Clemente Green, a local activist group opposed to the plant, called it “deeply disturbing that San Onofre’s top managers were fooling around like this” when the plant was dealing with issues in the manufacturing of the steam generators and with concerns about the plant’s safety culture.”
Dispite what the NRC has told the American public, a California Senator is calling out the NRC’s ability to even judge safety for the public. In fact she is calling recent shenanigans taking place at the plant an “experiment” conducted by the NRC.
SPCR.org reported, “California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer told Nuclear Regulatory chairwoman Allison Macfarlane that she wants two things before the restart of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is considered: completion of an investigation and a public hearing.
Boxer made her comments Thursday as part of the Senate reconfirmation hearing for Macfarlane, who is seeking another term as chair of the NRC.
Boxer scoffed at Southern California Edison’s (SCE) plan to change its operating license to restart the number two reactor at San Onofre at partial capacity.
She repeated the U.S. Atomic Safety Licensing Board‘s description of the plan as an “experiment.”
Boxer commented on SCE’s plan to operate the reactor at 70 percent.
“We’ll see what happens, we’ll see how it goes,” Boxer said during the hearing. ”That’s like saying I think I fixed the damaged brakes on your car, but don’t drive it over 40 miles per hour.”
Boxer repeatedly brought up the 8 million people living within 50 miles of the nuclear plant, saying if someone came to the NRC today and asked for a license to operate a nuclear power plant at that site, “in a seismic and a tsunami zone, we all know every single commissioner would say, ‘don’t you think you could find a better place for it?’”
The plant has been shut down since January 2012 after a radiation leak led to discovery of faulty steam generator tubes.”
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