2015 - 09 - 25 The Diablo Double Disaster & Mass Migration Out Of California

Letter for State Senator Monning, PG&E and the NRC at the "Town Hall" meeting at Cuesta College, Sept. 25, 2015

Because our lovely coastline is located within the Pacific “ring of fire” earthquake zone, we live with the possibility that a major earth-shaking event could disrupt our lives at any time. We also remain exposed to a greater disaster than nature is likely to provide. What would happen if “the big one’ caused the release of large amounts of radioactive materials into our atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean from PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant?

To the east of Diablo Canyon, in the direction of the prevailing wind, lies the San Joaquin Valley, California’s breadbasket. If, somehow, whether caused by nature or accident, Diablo Canyon were to lose containment, we would be rendered helpless as large radioactive clouds rose into the sky. Sea-breezes would carry these toxic plumes eastward into the Valley. No one is going to buy produce that’s been contaminated with radioactive cesium, strontium, and iodine.

Additionally, the drinking water for millions of men, women, and children flows from the Sierra Mountains through the Central Valley and into cities that stretch from the Bay Area to Southern California. Nobody is going to knowingly drink water that’s been laced with radioactive isotopes.

This double disaster would disrupt our infrastructure. After the multiple-meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the release of toxic radioactive elements into the environment required far more relief-work than the natural disaster that caused the event.

A nuclear meltdown at Diablo Canyon would overshadow all other emergency relief efforts in the state, slowing the repair of our damaged infrastructure while putting first-responders and the public in harm’s way. A major release of radioactive materials could disrupt all north-south traffic. We would see mass migration out of California.

Why must we continue to live with this unnecessary danger?  It Really Is Time To Close Diablo Down!

Harvey Sherback,

Berkeley, California