Friday, November 30, 2012

Nuclear power plant in California was sabotaged

San Onofre nuclear power plant (California), whose structures are so damaged that can't but be shut for good, had its safety systems sabotaged. Coolant was mixed with fuel for the emergency generator, what, if needed, would have caused a major nuclear crisis almost for sure. 

Police is investigating the matter but, regardless, it is clear that the sabotage was almost certainly revenge by laid off workers.

This is not the first nor will be the last case, with disgruntled workers in other nuclear facilities sabotaging all kind of devices as angry farewell, such gluing doors locked, introducing coins in the lubricant of emergency generators or cutting power wires. The power plants of Browns Ferry (Alabama) and North Anna (Virginia) are mentioned as some of such examples.

(Source: EneNews).

This highlights two issues:

One is that nuclear energy is extremely unsafe because things never go as planned (or in Murphy's words: if something can go wrong, it will... eventually). So even when the highest standards have been upheld in planning, design and management, there are still way too many unpredictable risks, including sabotage by workers. 

Workers have great power. If an individual worker can cause such a risk, what implies huge power (even if for bad), what cannot do organized workers?! In the words of Buenaventura Durruti:

It is we who built these palaces and cities, here in Spain and America and everywhere. We, the workers. We can build others to take their place. And better ones. We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth; there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute.

That is our great power. Remember always that: we workers, and not bankers nor police, are the pillars of the economy and society. It all depends on us.

Update: Simply Info has quite a bit more information on the San Onofre case. Apparently the laying out of key workers was already denounced by unions as a threat to security in itself, because you need a well trained and readily available staff to manage a nuclear facility within the standards of the industry.

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