Committed to shutting down Diablo Canyon reactors

Monthly Archives: January 2015

Coming Full Circle

Diablo Canyon protesters circle up in 1981. Photo: Jessica Collett

Diablo Canyon protesters circle up in 1981. Photo: Jessica Collett

Resistance is Fertile Back in the 1970’s and ’80’s PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant was the California epicenter of an anti-nuclear movement that was sweeping the country. In 1981, in what was reputed to be the largest mass arrest in U.S. history, nearly 2,000 protestors were arrested at the famous Diablo Blockade. Despite the massive and long-lived public opposition – not to mention countless construction mistakes and problems and the fact the site was near known earthquake faults – Diablo was eventually fired up in 1984. Some may say that shows the futility of mass direct actions and non-violent civil disobedience and that the Nuclear Free California movement failed. They would be mistaken. Unsung Successes Although dozens of nuclear power plants were scheduled to be built up and down California, only Santa Susanna experimental reactor near Los Angeles, Humboldt Bay near Eureka, Vallecitos research reactor near Pleasanton, Rancho Seco at Sacramento , San Onofre near San Diego and Diablo Canyon north of Santa Barbara near San Luis Obispo were ever brought on-line. In 1976 – heading off a more strongly-worded popular ballot initiative that looked like it would win – the state of California placed a moratorium on new reactors until a solution for permanent radioactive waste storage could be found. That has yet to happen despite 70 years of trying. Today, due to a combination of public opposition, malfunctions, industry incompetence, and market forces, all but Diablo have been shutdown.
Circling up in San Luis Obispo to shut down Diablo - 2015. Photo: John Bertucci/EON

Circling up in San Luis Obispo to shut down Diablo – 2015. Photo: John Bertucci/EON

Decommission Diablo Now! Now, Diablo is California’s last nuke standing, and the Nuclear Free California movement, long seemingly dormant, is once again gathering its forces to shut it down. In a Shut Down Diablo Conference held January 23-25 in San Luis Obispo, and follow-up meetings held Monday Jan. 27 in San Francisco, movement participants worked on multiple strategies aimed at making sure this dangerous, aging nuclear facility – now known to be located on multiple recently-discovered earthquake faults in a tsunami zone like Fukushima, and out of compliance with NRC seismic and fire safety standards and California’s own ‘once-through-cooling’ law – is permanently shut down, decommissioned safely, and that its 20,000 plus metric tons of accumulated nuclear waste are stored with state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line technology.
Circling up in San Francisco to shut down Diablo - 2015. Photo: James Heddle/EON

Circling up in San Francisco to shut down Diablo – 2015. Photo: James Heddle/EON

New Alliances Forming The resurgent No Nukes movement in California is allied with a resurgent movement for abolition of nuclear weapons as well as with citizen-based efforts to monitor on-going Fukushima radioactive fallout, and with sister movements in Washington State and Japan aimed at shutting down the Northwest Generating Station near Hanford and preventing the restart of Japan’s idled fleet of nuclear reactors. Ties are also being developed with allies in the climate change, renewable energy, energy democracy and anti-fracking movements. In multi-issue solidarity lies real people power. More on the Conference content and outcomes will be reported in future posts on this site. For starters, here is the link to Libbe HaLevy’s radio report on the Conference Nuclear Hotseat #188: DIABLO CANYON SHUTDOWN SPECIAL! the text of a press release from the Mothers for Peace. PRESS RELEASE San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace For immediate release. January 28, 2015 CONTACTS: Linda Seeley, Spokesperson 805-234-1769 Jane Swanson, Spokesperson 805-440-1359 ACTIVISTS FROM THROUGHOUT THE U.S. AND JAPAN MEET IN SAN LUIS OBISPO TO DISCUSS STRATEGIES TO SHUT DOWN DIABLO CANYON AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOURCES During the weekend of January 23 to 25, activists from not only California, but throughout the United States and two from Japan, gathered in San Luis Obispo to discuss key nuclear issues and strategies for shutting down Diablo Canyon, California’s last operating nuclear power plant. Recent revelations of possible collusion between plant operator Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to minimize the effects of the many earthquake faults under and around Diablo Canyon, new information about hazardous nuclear waste storage conditions and the ever-expanding renewable energy market make this a key moment to finally decommission the aging and dangerous nuclear plant sitting on the Central California coast. The weekend events began on Friday morning with a Peace Walk from Diablo Canyon to the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse, led by Buddhist Monk Reverend Sawada of Nipponzan Myohoj. The evening of January 23 featured a kick-off meeting with speakers, videos, photos and music for both activists and the general public. Meetings of a coalition of organizations under the banner of Nuclear Free California were held on Saturday and Sunday, facilitated by long-time activist Harvey Wasserman of Solartopia, Jaqueline Cabasso of the Western States Legal Foundation and Mary Beth Brangan of Ecological Options Network. Speakers from Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, World Business Academy, San Onofre Safety, RADCAST, SLO Clean Energy, Code Pink, No Nukes Northwest, No Nukes Action, PSR-Oregon and many others joined organizers Mothers for Peace and Nuclear Free California in giving presentations that covered a diverse range of issues and perspectives. There were also reports from Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer of Fairewinds, Paul Frey of Frey Organic Winery, energy analyst Paul Gipe of Wind Works, lawyer Mike Aguirre, labor issues specialist Steve Zeltzer and Fukushima resident/activist Chieko Shiina who came from Japan for these meetings. Topics ranged from current issues at Diablo Canyon to the nuclear weapons connection, Fukushima and a class action lawsuit against the Fukushima reactor manufacturers, radiation monitoring, transitioning to renewables, utilities reform, workers rights and creating a new job base and economy for post-Diablo San Luis Obispo County. The meetings were attended by about 100 people – members of allied organizations affiliated with Nuclear Free California and individual citizens as well as award winning photographers, filmmakers, writers and media specialists — and became a convergence of energies, all directed towards shutting down Diablo Canyon and moving towards a nuclear free future. In the true spirit of our mission to protect our planet and our children, each meeting began with a blessing from Fred Collins, Tribal Administrator of The Northern Chumash Tribal Council, and was graced with a prayer vigil by Reverend Sawada. Harvey Wasserman of Solartopia, editor of, summed up the conference by stating, “Nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous, expensive, and outmoded. Nuclear Free California is leading our State into a clean, renewable energy future, and in doing so, we will shut down the most dangerous nuclear plant in the nation.” ###
Composite photo by James Lerager

Composite photo by James Lerager



To Shut Down Diablo Canyon!

San Luis Obispo Conference January 23 – 25 &

San Francisco Strategy Meeting

January 27

We hope you’ll be joining us! ( Download flyer PDF )

January 23, Friday Kick-Off Meeting for both active NFC members and the general public

∗9 am: Sawada-Shonin, Japanese monk, will be doing a symbolic and prayerful walk from Diablo to the City courthouse. Please join! ∗ 6 pm – 9 pm San Luis Obispo Public Library, 958 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Tales of Diablo Music and munchies, discussion Code Pink, Harvey Wasserman and others Nuclear power and nuclear waste slide show by award-winning photographer James Lerager, Fulbright Scholar.

DiabloArial2 January 24, Saturday Nuclear Free California Strategy Meeting to Shut Down Diablo Canyon

9 am – 6 pmGrange Hall

2880 Broad Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Agenda: Presentations on what’s now happening re Diablo Canyon followed by formulating a state-wide strategy FEE: $25 (covers both Saturday and Sunday plus Saturday lunch) Saturday dinner is an additional $20 Pre-registration required. Contact: Mary Beth Brangan Do you prefer turkey or vegetarian lunch; chicken or vegetarian dinner ? Payments may be made Saturday morning via credit card, check or cash or to Additional donations to Mothers for Peace are welcome to help cover meeting hosting expenses!

Diablo-Canyon-Safety-Map1 January 25, Sunday Building the Network – Nuclear Free California, Nuclear Free West Coast and Pacific Rim Alliance

9 am – 5 pm – San Luis Obispo Public Library, 958 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 lunch on your own in the downtown San Luis area Agenda: Continuing discussion re Diablo Shutdown; Presentations and Reports from Organizations FIT, CCAs and Munis & Discussion on the effects of and responses to the ongoing Fukushima crisis Accommodations: SLO Mothers for Peace has some accommodations in private homes. If you would like a home stay, please contact: Elizabeth Brousse Hotels and other accommodations in San Luis Obispo:

Wide January 27, Tuesday

San Francisco SHUT DOWN DIABLO Strategy Session Extra OccupyForum at Local 2 from 6 – 9 pm, 215 Golden Gate up the block from the corner of Leavenworth, near Civic Center BART Harvey “No Nukes” Wasserman, Dennis Bernstein, Linda Seeley, Larry Fahn, Cynthia Papermaster



We hope you’ll be joining us at the Nuclear Free CA meeting on January 24-25 in San Luis Obispo, ( Download flyer PDF )

We’ll have an exciting conference to develop a strategy to shut down Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors – our own potential Fukushima. Located in San Luis Obispo, on the beautiful California coast, two aging reactors are savagely fissioning adjacent to 13 earthquake faults in a tsunami zone and operated by PG&E, currently charged with over 30 federal felonies for criminal mismanagement. It’s time to shut them down – and to insist on the safest possible management of the deadly radioactive waste. Diablo Canyon nuclear waste canisters have conditions for cracking after only two years of use! Diablo-Canyon Saturday, January 24th – Develop a statewide strategy to shut down Diablo Canyon and to manage California’s tons of deadly radioactive waste safely as possible! 9am – 6pm – San Luis Obispo Grange, 2880 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Catered lunch & dinner. Sat. lunch included in registration fee. Dinner $20 per person Saturday evening: Speaker from Fukushima, music, videos, poetry Conference cost: $25 – no one refused for lack of funds – RSVP’s required: by Jan. 17 for Saturday lunch and dinner arrangements – Please indicate vegetarian or chicken main entrée for lunch & dinner Sunday, January 25th – Help build the Nuclear Free West Coast and Pacific Rim alliance in response to the ongoing Fukushima tragedy. We will discuss topics covered Saturday in more depth as well as additional items. 9am – 5pm – San Luis Obispo City-County Library, 958 Palm Street, SLO 93401. (We will try to make remote computer access possible for those unable to attend in person on Sunday.) Sunday lunch is on your own at one of the many nearby restaurants. Accommodations: SLO Mothers for Peace has some accommodations in private homes. If you would like a home stay, please contact: Elizabeth Brousse Hotels and other accommodations in San Luis Obispo: Diablo-Canyon-Safety-Map1

1. You don’t have to attend both days. Saturday, January 24th, is going to be devoted exclusively to creating a statewide strategy to shut down Diablo Canyon.

Sunday’s agenda is more expansive and includes the whole West Coast and Pacific Rim.

2. On Saturday evening, there will be a program featuring speakers from Fukushima with updates from Japan, along with poetry and music.

3. The meeting is going to be highly interactive, with lots of opportunity for creative participation in the ultimate strategy to SHUT DOWN DIABLO CANYON!

Mothers for Peace and EON – the Ecological Options Network are proud to be part of this coalition to make our state and our world safer for the future generations!

Looking forward to seeing you!
Nuclear Free California Agenda Committee