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(33 Years Ago Today) Diablo Canyon via This Week in History

A blockade started at a nuclear power plant construction site in Diablo Canyon near San Luis Obispo, California. Nearly 10,000 people tried to prevent fuel rods from being loaded into the two reactor cores. Over two weeks, 1,901 are arrested in the largest occupation of a nuclear power site in U.S. history.

Their immediate major concern was over the region being seismically active and the plant’s location near the Hosgri fault.
In 2004 a 6.5 (on the Richter Scale) earthquake was centered less than 40 miles from the plant. Four other faults nearby have since been identified.

Additionally, 9.5 billion liters (2.5 billion gallons) of water needed to cool the reactors each day are discharged directly into the Pacific 11°C (20°F) warmer than the surrounding ocean water, affecting marine plant and animal life there.

As with all nuclear plants, the problem remains with storage of spent nuclear fuel that remains dangerously radioactive for more than 10,000 years. Diablo Canyon generates 110 spent fuel rod assemblies each year. There is still no satisfactory solution to this long-term storage problem.

For photos and more, see here.

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