Edison employees shot ‘Star Trek’ spoof video at San Onofre

<i>This post has been updated. See the note below for details.</i>

Southern California Edison managers dressed as “Star Trek” characters shot a spoof video at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

The video, obtained and aired by KGTV news in San Diego, was shot in the plant’s training simulator in 2010, before the discovery of equipment issues that have shuttered the facility for more than a year and left its future in doubt.

The company told KGTV that the video was shot for an employee recognition event on a budget of $800, but was never completed.

In the video, entitled “SONGS Trek,” the crew discusses issues presented by “unusual space fabric” the ship has encountered.

A man dressed as Spock tells the Captain Kirk -- played by the plant’s former chief nuclear officer, Ross Ridenoure, “If we remain in this state for much longer, we run a risk of equipment failure and crew demoralization. It is imperative we get to star base to replace our uranium dioxide crystals.”


“Sounds like quite a challenge, Spock, but to quote Admiral Tom McCool: We’re nukes. We love challenges,” Kirk responds.

San Onofre had new steam generators installed in 2010 and 2011. In January 2012, a steam generator tube leaked a small amount of radioactive steam, leading to the discovery that the tubes were wearing down much more quickly than expected due to an unusual type of vibration.

Edison has requested permission from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to restart one of the plant’s two units at 70% power, but it remains unclear when the NRC will decide on the plan. The company has signaled that it could choose to retire the plant completely rather than carry out extensive repairs if the NRC does not give the go-ahead.

An NRC spokesman told KGTV that there were no safety issues with the filming of the spoof.

Nevertheless, San Clemente Green, a local activist group opposed to the plant, called it “deeply disturbing that San Onofre’s top managers were fooling around like this” when the plant was dealing with issues in the manufacturing of the steam generators and with concerns about the plant’s safety culture.

[Updated at 12:30 p.m.: Edison was not the only employer to think of making a Star Trek spoof. The Internal Revenue Service in 2010 produced its own Star Trek parody for an employee training conference, but it was a higher-budget production at $60,000. That video’s taxpayer funded price tag inspired an indignant response from William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the original series.]


L.A. Now Live: Can Garcetti’s grand goals match reality?

Eric Garcetti faces tough tests when he takes office as mayor

Glendora home searched for clues in woman’s 1978 disappearance

Twitter: @sewella