Diablo Canyon is closing, but its negative footprint will linger

July 24, 2016

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant


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.



  1. AGDUDE says:

    When Their done it will be a great place to park the homeless ,and Pinko Dems.

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. CentralcoastRN says:

    I would like to see data that backs a few of your statements.

    Sooner or later all nuclear sites leak- source?

    Nuclear waste takes 250,000 years to decay. In general, or Diablo specific? Into nothing at all or to non-reactive isotopes? Hydrogen is naturally occurring but is totally flammable, so there are many naturally occurring dangers.

    So, what’s the new energy plan? Are we building a candle factory? Are we forcing everyone to put expensive solar panels on their homes? 23k for solar panels for my house. Many older homes need electrical work, new circuits. Who pays for that? Grandma on social security? Me and my tax dollars?PG&E still manages the grid, so big brother is still in charge so to speak, well until Tesla puts out a full sized house power inverter- another $8k.

    Look, I’m open minded. Ideas just need to make sense. So explain how we can replace that energy.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  3. gjreed says:

    Thanks for the opinion article Jim, although the “facts” you included are completely misleading or factually inaccurate. Next time you write something about science and technology learn about it first. Your profile says you want to be a good writer, learn how to use argument and rhetoric correctly and you’ll be on your way.

    Mr. Gjreed has lived on the Central Coast his whole life, has worked hard for a living to provide for his family and community. He has a real job and would like all the transplants who want to change our community to love or leave the Central Coast.

    (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
    • miles archer says:

      When you’re done attacking the messenger, then maybe you can provide your own counterpoint on the content of his letter.

      We’ll be waiting for YOUR “facts” eh?

      (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
  4. ConfedOfDunces says:

    A negative footprint is a positive thing, isn’t it?

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  5. Jorge Estrada says:

    The influence of this plant will be here for another 250,000 years. This was discussed to great length before and the after will continue to be funded by the customers, next subject.

    (-8) 16 Total Votes - 4 up - 12 down

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