For the first time in the 40-plus-year history of San Luis Obispo County's only nuclear power plant, individuals gathered Monday to support Diablo Canyon's continued operation rather than oppose it.I like that construction – “San Luis Obispo County’s only nuclear power plant” – it’s actually California’s only nuclear power plant after the closing of San Onofre, but this is in a local newspaper. It’s not just politics that’s local to a local paper – it’s everything.
"It's always been the adversaries," Ellie Ripley, of Arroyo Grande, said about the several decades worth of protests and public outcry aimed at closing Diablo Canyon Power Plant. "Not all nuclear plants have adversaries."
How did Ripley get involved with a pro-nuclear group? And why?
A voice for those such as Ripley, who led tours at Diablo Canyon for 23 years, was often silenced by the voices against nuclear energy, which is why Orcutt resident Bill Gloege formed the all-citizens group, Californians for Green Nuclear Power, and helped organize Monday's rally, he said.This is actually, in my experience, pretty rare – not that people support nuclear energy – polls are consistent that it is well supported – but that they’d more-or-less spontaneously group together and make their fondness for the atom known. People are more likely to protest something they don’t like or want, not what they do like and want. It’s a bit unusual for people to use the techniques of anti-nuclear protest in the name of advocacy, but there you are. It can be done.
"I was frustrated by all the false information put out about nuclear power," Gloege said. "I knew it wasn't true."
Now, anti-nuclear groups have scored points here and there, but their arguments, never the greatest to start with, have become increasingly tinny. “Over the years, the nuclear plant [Diablo Canyon] has been at the forefront of numerous government meetings where watchdog groups like Mothers for Peace have repeatedly called for its closure.”
Yet Diablo Canyon has been puttering along for 25 years without incident. Maybe it’s time for a change. Grandmothers for Peace? After all, their children are now grown with children of their own. So if all their calls for closure have not borne fruit – and were never likely to – and all the Cassandra-like portents of doom have come to naught, what does a disappointed mother for peace do? Keep on with it, I guess, with walkers if necessary, until the job’s done.
In this context, it’s nice to have a gang like Californians for Green Nuclear Energy around to pose against the anti-nuclear mob.
But I’m projecting. On the basis of the story, CGNE’s members seem like nice folks standing up for something that’s important to them. It’s a real tonic to know they’re there and, in fact, ever so discreetly, Diablo Canyon should slip them cookies and punch whenever they’re outside the plant. It’s lucky to have them.
Great story with a decided local angle by April Charlton of the Lompoc (Calif.) Record – worth a full read. Be sure to visit CGNP’s Facebook page and like the heck out of them.