Diablo Canyon is closing, but its negative footprint will linger
July 24, 2016
OPINION by JIM GRIFFIN
Diablo Canyon Power Plant is finally shutting down. It should never have been built in the first place, especially over two earthquake prone fault lines.
In fact, as we can see now, no nuclear power plants should ever have been built. Sooner or later they always leak radiation, and nuclear fuel waste takes 250,000 years to decay into lead — a massive and mounting problem.
Nuclear waste will be a huge issue at Diablo many years after the complex closes. No Co2, no addition to climate change, true. But there is totally toxic radiation that no container material can outlast. Nuclear power has always been a bad idea, good on paper, but only if you ignore half the story. Horrible in reality.
PG&E is an especially bad player. Think of all the people poisoned in Hinkley, Calif. (Erin Brockovich) and many other places, and all the pollution and the gas line accidents.
Think of the totally cowed Public Utilities Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, corrupted and co-opted through a cozy relationship with PG&E and other big energy corporations. Corporations that then get away with murder and receive a slap on the wrist for their crimes, if anything.
As long as PG&E and other major utilities exist as huge profit obsessed corporations, they will manipulate all types of energy sources and markets, along with the media and the politicians, keeping prices high and with everything tightly in their control.
The Diablo complex doesn’t begin to close for eight full years — more than enough time for PG&E to pull strings and grease palms to have the recent agreement/settlement gutted or greatly watered down. Watch and see.
In my opinion, “public” utilities should really be publically owned, and run democratically, co-operatively and transparently by and in the interests of consumers, not investors and fat-cat executives. This is the only way that renewable energy, alternative energy, energy storage, and all other possibilities can be developed and provided in a socially responsible way. And nuclear power ended forever.
Jim Griffin has lived in San Luis Obispo for five years. Jim has been a progressive political activist since his mid-teens, taking part in anti-war movements, the civil rights movement, labor union struggles, and other movements for human, civil, and democratic rights.