Letters to the Editor

California doesn’t need Diablo Canyon to meet its energy needs

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in 2001.
The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in 2001. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Nuclear energy is “unloved” for substantial reasons (Perspective, “(Nuclear) power to the people,” June 9). That opinion piece is filled with misinformation and omission.

Topping the list is the claim that nuclear power is clean. The article ignores the horrifically dangerous problem of secure disposal of high-level radioactive waste. This material must be safeguarded for 250,000 years, thus endangering the lives of current and future generations.

Furthermore, the article omits consideration of the entire nuclear life cycle in its carbon neutral claim. Nuclear energy requires conventional industrial processes that emit carbon dioxide during construction of the plant, and mining, refining and enriching the uranium ore.

Nuclear energy is very dirty and hardly “without harm to human health.” Please, let’s not forget the ongoing releases of radiation five years after the initial disaster at Fukushima.

The statement that “it’s not easy to turn a nuclear plant on and off” is true and problematic — for its inflexibility actually impedes the use of sustainable energy sources.

With sustainable energy sources, coupled with conservation, California does not need Diablo Canyon to meet its energy needs. We must abandon dirty and dangerous nuclear power, for there are justifiable reasons for, as the piece put it, “stubborn antipathy toward nuclear power.”

Jill ZamEk, Arroyo Grande