IN A BOMB SHELTER BELOW ONE OF THOSE BIG OLD HOUSES IN MISSION HILLS - Southern California Edison has made a point of not publicizing the planned route for the super-long trucks assigned to carry four massive, radioactive steam generators from the San Onofre nuclear power plant to a nuclear waste facility in Clive, Utah. Gil Alexander, spokesman for Southern California Edison and San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, says the secrecy is for the sake of security, but critics say it's actually because to avoid public outcry over the planned route, which is rumored to run dangerously close to densely populated suburban North County communities.
"It'd be one thing if they were taking it along the 94," said Green Money, Green Spaces spokesman Marvin Appleman. "I mean, that part of town is already a disaster, environmentally and otherwise. All those chrome-plating shops. Gag. But this is pristine North County countryside we're talking about. It just doesn't seem right."
Spokesman Alexander grumpily acknowledged the public concern, but continued to stress the need for secrecy. "These are 400-foot trucks, and there are several places where we have to manage 90-degree turns. That is not something you invite the public to watch. Especially when we're driving awfully close to where they live. I mean,If a member of a public stood beside this truck for one hour, they would have been exposed to radiation equivalent to one dental x-ray. But if, for some reason, our driver botched his attempt to bring a 400-foot truck safely around a 90-degree turn near a residential neighborhood, well, a member of the public might get exposed to something like the equivalent of 200 million dental x-rays. And that's kind of a lot."
As it happens, Green Money, Green Spaces has cause for concern. SD on the QT has obtained photos of the first of the four generator-bearing trucks as it made its way through San Diego county, and there is no question about the route's proximity to suburbia.
In the first image, the truck can be seen crossing a bridge along Camino Del Sur near Carmel Valley
In the second, it is driving along I-5 near the intersection of Carmel Valley Road and El Camino Real:
"Damn," said Appleman. "That's a lot of truck. What are home prices like in Coronado these days?"