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Jerry Collamer, San Clemente

Author Tom Wolfe, in his best seller The Right Stuff, a true accounting of Navy jet jocks, copped a phrase for test pilots pushing the outer limits of safety in their supersonic need for speed. When a flyboy zips too far over the line and crashes, he “screwed the pooch.”

Author Joseph Heller, in his post WWII best –seller Catch 22, introduced us to SNAFU, “situation normal: all f**cked up,” a GI’s acronym meaning all hope is lost.

On the TV show “Happy Days,” hope flew the coop when Fonzi literally “jumped the shark” on water-skis, signaling the beginning of the show’s decline.

Today, Edison and Mitsubishi argue via their lawyers about who screwed the pooch at SONGS? Why the catastrophic engineering snafu in redesigning the failed steam generators to the tune of billions of dollars lost when SONGS’ radioactive smoke clears in 30 years. Whose fault was it really?

Reading ongoing newspaper reports, screwing the pooch at SONGS was a shared effort. Edison wanted more and more tube-oomph, and Mitsubishi refused to just say “no.” It is a fact of life; In every snafu, it takes two. Fonzi couldn’t jump a shark that wasn’t there, and solo snafus are impossible.

Today’s blame game is the only game in town. But we know who screwed the pooch at SONGS. Edison and Mitsubishi jumped the shark together. Simple math: It always takes two. Question: How many engineers, managers, boards of directors and CEOs does it take to create havoc at a nuclear facility? Answer: All of them.

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