We've got sea gulls on our nuclear reactor.

Hey, Matt:

I was recently driving by the Dolly Parton memorial (San Onofre), and I noticed that the sea gulls and all other types of flying things are clustered on the north dome, and it's nearly covered with guano, while the south dome has none, nothing, not one bird, not one drop of the white stuff. Why?

-- R. Hendrickson, the net

Hey, Matt:

There are two spherical containment domes at the San Onofre nuclear plant. Why is only the north containment dome (#2) covered with bird shit? The domes are otherwise identical, yet the south dome has no bird shit.

-- Jim Kear, Mira Mesa

Southern California Edison's staff biologist is definitely on top of this guano situation. Once upon a time, all the birds (sea gulls and cormorants, mostly) congregated on reactor 1, a smaller, flat-topped building, north of reactor 2. When workmen began dismantling number 1 a while ago, the noise and activity forced the birds to move. But they only moved next door, to reactor 2. No one knows why. Perhaps they're nostalgic for their old home and want to stay as close as possible. Perhaps reactor 3 is in a bad neighborhood.

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