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Nuclear Energy Worth the Cost?


Since the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan with the resultant nuclear power plant catastrophes, many are questioning the safety of the Diablo Canyon plant in San Luis Obispo County. This plant was completed in 1973 and its two units went on line in 1985 and 1986. The operating licenses for this plant expire in 2024 and 2025 when it will be 51 years old. A license renewal for another 20 years has been requested by PG & E. Can a 70-year-old nuclear reactor be considered safe?

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant sits very close to two earthquake faults, one only recently discovered. It was built to withstand a 7.5 quake. Let’s hope that is enough. Japan thought its plants could withstand the maximum quake possible and had safety measures in place to cover any possible disaster scenario. They were wrong.

Government subsidizes nuclear energy with billions of our tax dollars because private companies cannot afford to build them without our help. Diablo Canyon was projected to cost $380 million. After numerous construction modifications were required, the final cost of the Diablo Canyon plant, when it went on-line in 1985, was $5.52 billion.

If the billions of our tax dollars were spent on research and development of truly clean alternative energy sources, such as solar, geothermal, and wind, maybe we could meet our energy needs without endangering the planet. Nuclear energy is neither safe nor cheap. Please don’t waste anymore of my tax dollars on nuclear power.



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