Nuclear power plants are located on rivers, lakes, or oceans, withdrawing billions of gallons of water each day. This water is used for “once-through cooling (OTC),” an outdated and unlawful technology where power plants suck in enormous volumes of water to cool down their systems. This water is then released back into the body of water at an elevated temperature. The marine life that is killed by OTC is mainly at the base of the food chain, but all aquatic species are adversely impacted and destabilized – from phytoplankton to fish eggs and larvae, the birds, and the marine mammals that rely on the complex food web.
A seismic event is one of the many significant risks of nuclear power. The consequences of widespread radiation contamination is sobering – as we have seen at Chernobyl, Fukushima, and other sites. There are a multitude of earthquake faults in the vicinity of Diablo Canyon, making the site unsuitable for a nuclear facility.
Storage of Radioactive Waste
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster
On March 11, 2011, an earthquake triggered a powerful tsunami which damaged the nuclear power plants’ emergency diesel generators, leading to a loss of power. The resultant loss of reactor core cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns, three hydrogen explosions, and the release of radioactive contamination. Many years remain before all the melted fuel debris will be removed from the damaged reactors, and Japan plans to release the stored radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean in 2023.