Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant and How it Might be Killing You

In my opinion, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power plant is an unacceptable risk, particularly to the people of California, but as Fukushima has proven, to the entire planet as well.

I think it is imperative that the California Legislature hold public hearings on the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant and the impact it has on the health of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County residents.

World Business Academy’s “Diablo Canyon Radiation Health Report,” released March 3, 2014, found increased cancer rates and declining health trends including rising infant mortality and low birth weights.

Specifically, the report found that since the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant opened in the mid-1980s, San Luis Obispo has changed from a relatively low-cancer to a high-cancer county. It also found a significant rise in infant cancers, deaths and low birth weights in SLO and Santa Barbara Counties after the reactors began operating. In the decades after the Rancho Seco nuclear plant (near Sacramento) closed in 1989, cancer rates declined and other health trends improved dramatically.

In addition to these health findings, the Academy found that in the 30 years that Diablo Canyon has been operating, no governmental agency has ever investigated its impact on the health of people living near the reactors — not the SLO Health Department, not the State Department of Health, not PG&E and not the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. PG&E and the nuclear industry have tried to dismiss this report by the childish approach of name-calling (i.e., “junk science” or “fear mongering”), showing a blatant disregard for the health of their neighbors, customers and employees. The reason PG&E resorts to the 5th grade tactics of name-calling is that (1) they have done zero health studies of their own; (2) they have no research that shows that Diablo Canyon is NOT harmful to people living nearby; and, therefore, (3) they prefer to “shoot the messenger,” rather than seriously discuss this issue.
Maile Ellington is a Santa Barbara resident.

Views expressed on the opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB and are primarily submitted by students.

A Version of this article appeared in the Monday, May 19, 2014 print issue of the Daily Nexus.