“No news is good news” went right out the window last Friday. San Onofre’s nuclear power plant has announced it will close permanently.
After failed and costly equipment swaps and steam generator failures, So Cal Edison threw in the towel. A half billion in unpaid bills is its legacy.
To say that this is incredibly great for the people of LA, Orange County and San Diego is an understatement of enormous proportions. As the residents of Fukushima, Chernobyl or Three Mile Island might tell you, a nuclear power plant is not conducive to the well being of anyone. The former nuke plant was, like Onofre, proximitous to a fault line and as the disaster in Japan unfolded, surely the people of Carlsbad and Oceanside could feel their guts tighten–well, no more.
Nuclear power–for all of its “bang for the buck”–is yet another taxpayer subsidized disaster. And even Edison admits that with moderate conservation, the plant’s customers may make it through summer as they seek an alternative.
Not to pound the too obvious drum, but as Onofre already has generator infrastructure and is adjacent to uninhabited and bare field and hills, why not do what the Antelope Valley is doing? Cover the giant bubble in panels and kick out the sunny jams. Cover those barren hillsides in same. Given that the cost of solar has plummeted and liability insurance at about nil, it’s about time.
SoCal Edison is loathe to do this, as it does usher in their eventual demise. But the future is headed that way no matter what they think. And with San Onofre down, the trad surfers, the fisherman, the beach lovers–can all return. We won!