Dr. Stephen Hosea believes he might have picked a bad time to switch his diet from meat and potatoes to fish and vegetables. The Santa Barbara physician discussed the dangers of nuclear power plants at a lunchtime conference packed with health-care professionals at Cottage Hospital last week.

Studies indicate cesium levels in bluefin tuna caught off the West Coast is a lingering result from the nuclear plant meltdown of Fukushima in March 2011, Hosea explained. Over two years after the Japanese nuke plant was struck by an earthquake-induced tsunami, the level of radioactive material discovered in these fish is greater than the level prior to the Fukushima disaster. American officials originally stated this waste would dilute in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, but that has not been the case, Hosea said. Though cesium levels found in these species are lower than government regulations, he went on, there is no safe dose of radiation. Further, information from the government about the dangers of radioactivity is largely unavailable.

“I don’t claim to be an expert,” Hosea said at the conference, “but I claim to be a citizen of the world who wants to know about this information.” Hosea encouraged people to question authority, spread the word, and join the movement to shut down the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which is located just 90 miles up the coast and is the only operating nuke plant in the state after the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was shut down in June. Mothers for Peace ​— ​an anti-nuke nonprofit advocating shutting down Diablo ​— ​will hold a meeting on November 20 at the Courtyard Marriott in San Luis Obispo. The power plant’s license is up for renewal in 2024.


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