Success: Unsafe Nuclear Power Plant to Be Shut Down

Target: Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Goal: Thank Mr. Cavanagh for his efforts in closing the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

California’s last nuclear power plant, the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, is now scheduled to shut down its reactors in 2024 and 2025. This power plant is both environmentally unsound and a danger to surrounding communities, as it is located close to several fault lines. Closing the plant will remove a public health hazard and help California meet its goal of having 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. Many organizations have pressed for change on this issue, including Forcechange. Celebrate the removal of this serious danger to the environment and human health.

Building a nuclear power plant close to fault lines could hinder its ability to shut down safely. In fact, the organization Friends of the Earth petitioned for the Diablo Canyon Power Plant to be shut down for that reason. In 2013, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspector recommended that the plant be closed until the commission could evaluate whether or not it could withstand stronger earthquakes. There are 500,000 people who live near the site and keeping the plant open posed a severe threat to them.

In addition, although nuclear energy isn’t carbon based, it still isn’t the best option for the environment. It generates radioactive waste that can take many years to decompose. One such waste product, Plutonium-239, takes 24,000 years before even half of its atoms decay. This radioactive waste is also highly toxic. Milder symptoms of exposure to it include nausea, fever, and diarrhea. Severe symptoms include damage to internal organs and death.

Decommissioning this plant is an important step toward safer, cleaner energy. Applaud the Natural Resources Defense Council and other negotiating groups for making it happen.


Dear Mr. Cavanagh,

Thank you for your work negotiating the decommission of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Precariously situated on top of several fault lines, this plant is a danger to public health and safety. In addition, closing it will help California reach its goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. We’re grateful to you for helping us shift toward cleaner, more benign power sources.

Though nuclear energy is carbon free, it is still produces hazardous waste that we struggle to dispose of safely. One component of this waste, Plutonium-239, lasts for 24,000 years before it loses even half of its atoms. In addition to its longevity, nuclear waste is also highly toxic. In high enough doses, it can cause organ failure and death.

Because the plant is located above several fault lines, there is no guarantee that this waste would not spread to nearby communities should an earthquake occur. There are 500,000 people living close to the power plant. Thank you for safeguarding their welfare and shutting it down.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Activefree

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