The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS, sits south of San Clemente along the Southern California coast between Los Angeles and San Diego. A four-month investigation reveals that the shuttered plant’s spent nuclear fuel rods are vulnerable to earthquakes and terrorist attacks which could result in a “black swan” event – a foreseeable but ignored disaster of epic proportions. EnviroReporter.com exposes the vulnerabilities and proposes solutions.
Introduction to our four-part Black Swan SONGS series reveals that even though SONGS’ was permanently shuttered in June 2013, its security posture is spotty and not robust enough to withstand a concerted terrorist attack. Ready answers do exist.
PART ONE – SONGS’ LETHAL LEGACY
Should one or both SONGs’ spent fuel pools drain or evaporate, heat of extremely radioactive rods would ignite a blaze impossible to extinguish. 2007 Nuclear Regulatory Commission disaster scenario involving SONGS’ pools on fire has everyone within ten miles of SONGS getting fatal dose of radiation. Dubious new NRC studies discount any problems.
PART TWO – SONGS’ RISKY BUSINESS
Newport-Inglewood Fault threatens San Onofre with quake 2.5 times as strong as plant’s maximum tolerance. Post 9/11 security measures Collins reported on in 2001 seem nonexistent now. SONGS spent fuel pools are vulnerable to rocket attack which can be prevented.
PART THREE – HIT MEN FOR HOT ZONES
Connection established between Iranian terrorism and Mexican cartel gunslingers. Syria and Iran threaten U.S. Cartels recruit U.S. gangs and soldiers for hit men. Threat to SONGS detailed along with weaponry, explosives of potential terrorists. Backpack C-4 bomb risk.
PART FOUR – STOPPING SONGS’ BLACK SWAN
Series finale shows how to protect San Onofre and Peach Bottom nuclear reactor complexes’ spent fuel pools and dry casks of highly-radioactive nuclear fuel rods from terrorism. SONGS is within the perimeter of a Marine base and there lies its external security answers.