Friends and I toured the Diablo Canyon nuclear station — remarkable, standing beside massive steam turbines turning two less massive electrical generators, together supplying 2 billion watts of California’s power without polluting emissions.
Impressive too, seeing that power delivered 24/7, meeting 5 percent of California ISO’s peak loads, or 10 percent of nightly loads. Since PG&E stores unused Diablo generation at the Helms hydro facility, we’re assured daily non-emitting power from just a handful of uranium fissioned per hour.
One friend admitted having protested nuclear power at the 1980s Shoreham station in New York. He later altered his thinking, because he realized the protests shuttering Shoreham increased disease and death rates in that region — it long used coal for about 30 percent of its power.
In its Clean Air Task Force report, the Environmental Protection Agency predicted that coal emissions prematurely kill between 6,000 and 17,000 Americans per year. Yet, California now adds coal burning partly due to uninformed activities of my own Sierra Club, Mothers for Peace, etc.
Our misguided politics contrast with Ohio’s recent repair and restart of their similar Davis-Besse station, now eliminating a coal generation, while “green” California burns more.