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Activists rally against closure of California’s last-standing nuclear power plant

Activists rally against closure of California’s last-standing nuclear power plant

By Amanda Wernik

Nuclear energy activist groups gathered on the Mitchell Park lawn Saturday to rally against the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

California’s last operating nuclear power plant, located near Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo county, is set to shut down prematurely in 2025. Nuclear power is clean energy, meaning that it does not emit greenhouse gases, which pollute the atmosphere, aggravating global warming and climate change. 

Co-founder of the nonprofit Mothers for Nuclear Kristin Zaitz said she will not let the Diablo Canyon Plant go down without a fight. 

“We’re out spreading the word that, number one, nuclear is carbon free, and number two, we need to keep these plants operating if we want to take action on climate,” Zaitz said. 

However, many Californians strongly prefer other renewable energy sources over nuclear, due to the potential dangers of nuclear plants.

The Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in 1986 resulted in a deadly explosion that released four hundred times more radioactive material than at the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Such disasters attest to the health and environmental repercussions that can arise from dealing with nuclear waste. 

Stephen Williams, from the nonprofit Monterey Bay for Nuclear Power, said there is a deeply held anti-nuclear agenda in the state. 

“It really started in the 70’s, people connecting it with the cold war, nuclear weapons proliferation, and it’s a really hard cycle of beliefs to intervene in,” Williams said. 

Learn more about nuclear energy at energy.gov/nuclear. 

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