Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Save Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant


By Norris McDonald

Michael Shellenberger recently invited me to attend a 'Save Diablo Canyon' presentation to "get the facts about risk of premature closure." The presentation was in San Luis Obispo and I drove from Long Beach up the Pacific Coast Highway to get there.  The 4 1/2 drive was well worth it.

Not only did Michael put on a great presentation, approximately 200 people showed up to hear it.  Evidently PG&E has become less than enthusiastic about operating the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.  Michael rallied the workers and unions at this meeting to press upper management to commit to supporting this invaluable facility.

For many years, I wanted to get engaged with the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.  I have toured 12 plants all over the USA and the world.  But after the nuclear power plant renaissance fizzled, I significantly cut back my pro-nuclear work. Specifically, I wanted to get involved in the plant relicensing, as I did with other facilities, but the old mojo just was not there.  I moved to California a little over a year ago and Diablo just was not on my radar screen.  And then Shellenberger contacted me.

Michael's presentation was full of specifics about the facility and the energy situation in California. His due diligence is thorough and anyone attending the presentation, which included numerous slides and charts, would be completely up to date on the current status of the facility. The bottom line is that Michael was a catalyst for the plant workers and unions to organize more enthusiastic support for the plant.  Specific instructions on organizing, publicity generation, internal advocacy and more were provided by Michael.  There was strategizing over dinner and over beers.  It was an impressive afternoon, evening and morning.

Group Photo at Save Diablo Canyon Presentation

I had plenty of time to process all of the information on the drive back down Pacific Coast Highway. I expressed to Michael that I felt a bit ambivalent about a company that was not 100% behind the operation of its power plant.

I accepted Michael's invitation to join Friends of Diablo Canyon Governing Board.  I also accepted his offer to serve on the Advisory Board of his new group Environmental Progress.

Stay tuned.  We will see where this goes.

Save Diablo Canyon. org

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