Written by Carole Hisasue and published in New Times, October 6, 2022
An interesting thing happened at the SLO County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Sept. 27. After PG&E’s presentation on SB 846 and its plans to extend operations at Diablo Canyon, the meeting was ending in an impromptu love fest of supervisors thanking and praising PG&E in its “difficult job” of planning for decommissioning while preparing for extended operations. And then, in the midst of it, Supervisor Debbie Arnold made the most incredible comment. “It’s like you are navigating the Titanic between all the icebergs” or something to that effect.
Wow. Did she just compare Diablo Canyon to the Titanic?! I wish I had. Because it’s a very apt analogy. The parallels are too significant. Hubris, greed, disregard for safety, the powers that be not listening to the experts, uninformed people having a party.
Just like the operators of the Titanic believed that there was no iceberg big enough to destroy it, PG&E continues to believe that there will never be an earthquake to cause a major accident at Diablo Canyon. The one very crucial difference is that the Titanic was brand new. Diablo Canyon is at the end of its lifespan. We know how the Titanic story ends, but we can still change the narrative here so that we don’t become the disaster movie of the next century.