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for people who care about the West

Geology of power


In Paige Blankenbuehler’s article on Diablo Canyon in your Aug. 22 issue, I was surprised that there was no mention that this nuclear station is located near the San Andreas fault. A few decades ago, I was staunchly opposed to nuclear power. After becoming aware of the contribution of fossil fuel-burning power plants to climate change, my opinion began to shift. The French produce around 80 percent of their power with nuclear and have a stellar safety record. They even recycle and use spent fuel from other countries. 

After the tsunami hit Japan, I was amazed to learn that they had such a huge nuclear station on islands that are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. In any areas that are considered to be geologically stable, I now believe that nuclear power can be an excellent “bridge” to the future. Maybe we should consider the common sense of how our power needs to be produced based on location. I vote to sell Japan natural gas from Colorado, rather than have radioactive materials wash up on my favorite Oregon beaches. And, who decided to build the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Station near a major fault zone?

David Poling
Grand Junction, Colorado